Piero And Suicide In Dante's Inferno

1432 Words6 Pages
Dante 's depiction of suicides ' punishment, from a modern perspective, seems too harsh for the nature of the crime. The crime seems to neither deserve such a low place in hell nor warrant a harsh punishment. However, after closer examination of the text and context, Dante 's punishment for people who were violent against themselves is justifiable. The Christian ideology of the connection between body and soul, explains this contrapasso of the suicides. The souls inhabiting the suicide forest were sent there because they were violent against themselves. In Christian ideology, it is believed that the soul and the body were greatly connected and it 's the soul 's responsibility to care for the body that God gave it. Therefore, by killing the body, the soul was…show more content…
Piero states that his actions "made me unjust against my just self," (13. 70-71). This information demonstrates that the vice of the souls was the act of suicide. Piero, an innocent person, committed suicide, which made him unjust. He himself could be virtuous but his actions made him unvirtuous and thus cast into hell. However, he is not completely innocent as the vice, committing suicide, did manifest because he tried to outrun his problems on Earth. Therefore, in hell he cannot run away from his problems anymore. This vice proves that it is the unjust action that causes the punishment and that the manifestation of the vice also manifests in the punishment. Despite committing a sin, one can be sympathetic of Piero because he is portrayed as a good person who is aware that "it is not just" to take "from oneself" (13. 105). Dante himself feels for Piero and makes it seem like he doesn 't belong in hell. This sympathy works to make Piero seem likable to prove that even the best will land in hell if they defile the connection and betray

More about Piero And Suicide In Dante's Inferno

Open Document