Gauging Evil Do you remember that time you offered to give your sibling something in exchange for them keeping their mouth shut about something they saw you do? That small fraudulent act would land you right down in Circle Eight, Bolgia Five of Hell in Dante’s Inferno. Now that may seem like severe over punishment, but it has it's reason. In The Inferno by Dante Alighieri sinners are placed in concentric rings all approaching the center of Hell. The rings are ordered not by the severity of the crime, but by the darkness of the heart of the sinner.
From the smallest sin to the biggest sin, no sin went without being punished by “a punishment fitting of the crime.” As Virgil and Dante travel throughout the nine circles of Hell, they were shown that Hell does not correct the sins but it orders them significantly. While traveling deeper into the circles of Hell, Dante is shown things like Lust, Anger, Violence, and Fraud, and he sees signs that the sins are getting worse the deeper they go. Dante’s travels shows a metaphor “descend so you may ascend” and this is designed to communicate the message of
On his journey, he meets people and listens to their stories and how they received their punishments. Dante shows the punishment of the sinners by use of analogy and antithesis. This is shown in canto five through lush between a couple, in canto thirteen through violence against oneself, and in canto twenty- three through fraudulence between hypocrites. Dante shows the punishment of the sinners by use of antithesis in canto five through lust between a couple. First, Dante meets the lustful.
The sinners in the Carnal are tossed and whirled by the winds. They are helpless in the tempests of passion. This canto also begins by descriptions of the circle and those who devoted to the sins of incontinence and lust: the sins of the appetite for skin, the sins of passion, and the sins of self-indulgence. People like Semiramis and Ninus are also known for their lustful sins. Also Helen and Paris who started the Trojan War.
Circle V: Wrath and Sullenness Dante’s journey through Inferno encountered sinners condemned to eternal punishment because of their actions when they were in earth. One of the sin is wrath or anger which is described as a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility and a response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. Anger could lead to other major sins like violence, revenge and unforgiving. Near the fifth circle of Hell, Phlegylas transports Dante and Virgil by ferry across the Styx. The Styx is the river that encompassed this entire level.
Dante ensures this happens by using the concept of contrapasso, which describes the relationship between sin and the resulting justification in Hell. The literal definition of contrapasso is the 'counter-strike' or the 'counter-suffering which translates literally as "counter-penalty." And in Dante’s Hell, sinners are punished according to the nature of their sin, so that their punishment fits their crime. And as we see throughout the story, some sinners literally become the personification of their sins while others become victims in Hell of the crimes they committed while on
When someone commits several wrongdoings during their lives, it is very problematic to decide a specific punishment. In the novel The Inferno, Dante categorizes the sinner’s punishment by the severity of their crimes. As for Nero, the Roman Emperor, it is fairly evident that he would be placed in multiple circles of hell, due to the heinous crimes that he has committed while being in charge of Rome. Nero has been linked to several crimes including murders, homosexual acts, and even being directly linked as betraying Rome during the Great fire. Therefore, the Roman emperor is evidently placed in the seventh, eighth and ninth circles of hell, where he would ultimately subside into his rightful place in the inferno.
Dante believed the most serious sins and acts of man dealt with fraud and betrayal. He reasoned that these sinners deserved the most crucial punishments Hell must offer. Therefore, the sinners in the deeper parts of Hell, sent to circles seven and eight, included those who caused religious conflict in
In Dante’s Inferno, many rules are presented. One of the few rules is Contrapasso, the “law of nature,” that states for every sinner’s crime there must be an equal and fitting punishment. It is expressed that the punishment must fit with the crime that was committed. With this in mind, a level of Hell that best represents contrapasso is The Gluttony.
The reason Dante choose the particular punishments for the sinners in the same ring is because Dante believed that the punishments should fit the crime the person they committed. Dante’s hell is divided into different parts where at the top is the sins that aren’t seen as big and at the bottom are the sins that are considered the worst to him. Dante believed in God’s fairness and believed God wouldn’t let anyone get away with committing sins and would seek justice by punishing people with punishments that fit the crime. In the first circle, which is Limbo, is where the unbaptized go this ring is made up of non-Christians and babies who died before being baptized who are punished with eternity in an inferior form of Heaven they live in a castle
In Dante’s Inferno, the ideas of justice, good and evil, and suffering in hell are implied. The idea of suffering in hell and the idea of justice are closely related. Dante indicates that those suffering in hell have committed crimes that are being punished in a reasonable way and that we should not have pity for them. He uses the setting and his organization of hell to transmit these ideas and his philosophy regarding these ideas. The organization of hell helps us understand that Dante believed it was a person’s poor decisions and not cruel fate that got a person in hell.
Summary of Major Ideas In his article, “Why the Secular Needs the Sacred,” William Kirk Kilpatrick accurately discusses the need for the sacred view of life. Kilpatrick says that the world tries to get along without religion, and shows how it does not work. Society has no good person or supreme being to turn to if not God because of all the different opinions flawed man has of what is right and wrong. People turn to a business agreement to try to explain authority even though the point of authority is always changing.
As human beings, we constantly make sinful mistakes and we seek to find the degree of how badly each sin really is. There are the individuals who seek to find these degrees or levels of severity in the context of what society deems fit and to conform to society’s needs. Then there are the spiritually involved individuals who seek the answer from a religious standpoint, in order to calculate where they stand in terms of the afterlife. This is where the great poet Dante Alighieri gave his input on the different sins of his time and the degree of evil that corresponds to each sin. He shared his thoughts with the world in his epic poem Inferno.
Throughout Cantos 1-6 of Purgatorio, multiple times different individuals were talking about shadows and especially the fact that they could recognize something was different with the Pilgrim based on his shadow: “When those in front saw that the light in my right side was broken, so that the shadow extended from me to the cliff… “Without your asking, I confess to you that this a human body you see, by which the light of the sun is split upon the ground”” (Canto 3, p.53, lines 88-96). From Heaven there were rays of sun shining down onto purgatory and this seemed like it could possibly be a symbol of God’s grace on those repenting to get rid of their stains before entering the Kingdom, which is there was no sun in Hell. The shadows also made