The Evil of Greed in Inferno and Heart of Darkness Though Conrad and Dante wrote their pieces centuries apart, Heart of Darkness and Inferno have striking similarities that readers cannot ignore. Both writers have rather bleak and downcast portrayals of humans and their propensity towards evil. In particular, both texts specifically examine the characteristic of greed in human behavior. Conrad and Dante are both quick to highlight the dangers of greed and the impact it has on the individual’s soul. Conrad goes further to describe the damage that is wrought on others when someone is greedy, while Dante depicts in graphic clarity the punishment that the greedy have to endure in the afterlife.
Dante the Poet is the harsh and moralistic imposer of punishment in Inferno. The sinners Dante, as the author, condemns are his commentary on the immorality of the people and politics of Florence. He places the Italian Ciacco in the ring for gluttons, where he must revel in the eternal disgust of his sin. Ciacco means hog, so Dante could be commenting on the gluttony of all the people in Florence by placing him in the third ring of hell. Ciacco also provides the prophecy of Florence’s political collapse.
The theme of courtly love shows at this part of book. Dante not only loves Beatrice when she was alive, but also after she died and even stronger than when she was alive. In canto XXX when he first time saw Beatrice, he wanted to say to Virgil :“Not one drop of blood is left inside my veins that does not throb: I recognize signs of the ancient flame.”(Dante, trans. Musa, Purgatory 322) In the beginning of canto XXXI Beatrice asks Dante what makes Dante had to despoil his hope of passing upward. Dante was weeping:“Present things with false delights turned my step away, as soon as your face had vanished.
Down to the penultimate Canto, Dante meets the second pair of sinners bound together: Ugolino and Ruggieri. Ugolino bites the skull of Ruggieri—the vengeance that he badly wanted on earth is given to him for eternity. This image of Ugolino and Ruggieri reminds us of the image of Paulo and Francesca as the only sinners in Hell that are bound together. The juxtaposition of Ugolino and Francesca ultimately demonstrates two facets of love: A fatherly love that was rejected because of pride and a passionate love that was pursued despite its unlawful nature. (Inf.
Dante first places the blame of ‘la gente nuova’ (inf. 16.73) who were new money in the city who have happened to bring ‘orgoglio e dismisura’ (74) , excessive pride and extravagance. This must have come across as a threat to Dante and his position in society, indeed he was no aristocrat and his family was not tremendously wealthy, but the significance he held derived from his dignified ancestors. However, in theory this should not have been an issue for Dante, indeed in book four of the Convivio, through the canzone ‘Le dolci rime d’amor, ch’i’ solìa’ he states that ‘E’ gentilezza dovunqu’è vertute, ma non vertute ov’ella’ (101-102) Hence he implies that virtue is what makes a being noble, and not their lineage. Therefore one has to question why the idea of new money and the insurgence of mercantile families into the city of Florence troubled
In Dante’s Inferno, he writes about his journey through hell for the purpose of recognizing his sins. He goes through this journey with Virgil, a voice of reason for Dante. Dante meets people through his journey of the many circles in the Inferno that lead him down into the center of hell, where Satan is. Satan is seen as being monster-like with three heads, representing a mocking of the Trinity and blowing his wings around the cocytus river. The final thing seen here is the fact that Dante’s description of Satan is a bit disappointing compared to the other descriptions he has written about the inferno.
While Dante and Virgil travel along the swamp by Phlegyas, the Boatman of the Styx, Filippo Argenti, a wrathful, tries to block their pathway. Filippo Argenti was a Black Guelph nobleman, who severely disliked Dante. Some accounts tell a tale of the feud between them which started with Filippo slapping Dante in the face. Dante says to Filippo, “And [Dante] replied: ‘If I come, I do not remain. / But you, who are you, so fallen and foul?
The three major sins consist of circles where Dante separates the different sinners. Each circle explains the sin and the punishment the sinners endured in their afterlife. Some circles even included historic figures in Dante’s hell because of their actions in life. The Wife of Bath Prologue and Tale reveal characters who were not portrayed as good people. In the Prologue, the Wife of Bath explains the encounter she had with five of her husbands.
Although Dante Alighieri and Niccolò Machiavelli lived in two different times, they both experienced political turmoil that impacted their lives. Living during times of conflict shaped the way they each looked at violence, virtue, and reason, which is evidenced in Dante’s Inferno and Machiavelli’s The Prince. Dante and Machiavelli both viewed violence, virtue, and reason as an interconnected triangle, but their realities created different ideas on how virtue and reason impact violence. Living a century apart, both authors’ lives show similarities. Both lived amid political turmoil that weakened Florence, and both were exiled from Florence because of politics.