Premium Essay

Dantes Inferno


Submitted By giancarlo90
Words 1056
Pages 5
Punishment in Dante’s Inferno

In Dante’s Inferno, Dante narrates his descent and observation of hell through its various circles. One part of this depiction is his descriptions of the various punishments that each of the different sinners has received. The various punishments that Dante imagines the sinners receiving are broken down into two types. The first type he borrows from various gruesome and cruel forms of torture and the second type is Dante’s creative mind thinking of less physically agonizing types of torture, usually psychological torture. The torturous forms of punishments are either physical pain or mental and psychological suffering. Several punishments that Dante envisions for the various sinners are forms of torture. The first physical punishment from that is his punishment for the heretics. The penalty in the medieval era for heresy was public humiliation or worse, being burned to death for having different beliefs. In Dante’s opinion, to be a heretic was to follow one’s own opinion and not the beliefs of the Christian Church. Dante’s punishment for heretics and those who followed them was that they be sepulchered and to have some tombs “heated more, some less” as in to still have them suffer while buried. Since the archheretics believed that everything died with the body and that there was no soul, Dante not only punishes them with the hot and crowded tombs, but he punishes them with their beliefs and lets them feel what it is like to die. This punishment by Dante is one in which he was more focused on inflicting a physical pain rather than a mental one. Although he uses various torturous practices in The Inferno in order to inflict physical agony, Dante sometimes uses famous acts of cruelty to punish the sinners. One such punishment is that which Dante borrows from Emperor Frederick II. Frederick II was well known for

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Dantes Inferno- Symbolism

...Symbolism The Inferno by Dante Alighieri is a work of art in which symbolism plays a prevalent role. Whether it is in the punishments or the monsters in each circle, everything has a dual meaning. During the entire book there are seen thirty monsters and five hybrid creatures, each representing something different. Throughout the circles the readers view tortures that are the physical equivalent of their actions. Alighieri exposes societies misdeeds in an ingenious way that leaves the readers smirking with satisfaction at the justice. In the first circle, those unbaptized wander around in a fog. This is a fitting punishment because the fog blinds them much like the absence of god blinds them wit no hope. It is odd that Alighieri put Virgil, Homer and anyone else who came before ‘God’ in this circle. In the second circle, those considered lustful and wanton are constantly blown about like leaves in the wind. This is an apt punishment because these particular sinners let their uncontrolled emotions rule their judgment, therefore they will never settle. In the second circle, we meet a monster called Minos. He is the son of Zeus and Europa and had been a King of Crete while in the world of the living. It is said of Minos that “His terrifying treatment of the souls is significant as after Charon, he is one of the first figures who they encounter on their passage into hell, and his unique method of demonstrating which area of hell that the souls should be sent to increases the...

Words: 1608 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

The Inferno of Dante-Pain

...Whenever you hear sound in The Inferno of Dante, torture or pain are either coming from tormented souls or is near. Throughout this novel, we not only see images drawn in our minds by Dante, but can in vision what Dante is going through from the sounds described in each Canto. We see Dante’s hearing and understanding develop to a more mature level as he faces different souls and hears their suffering. Our first instance of sounds imagery is in Canto III (3). Upon entering the Inferno, Dante hears tortured shrills coming from those who are unsure of where their loyalties lie and never choose a side. He hears their pain and begins to weep, for the pain he hears symbolizes everything he is about to face while he is in the Inferno. Since Dante has compassion for those in pain, he is forced to listen to the groaning and screams coming from the tortured souls in order that he may come to a level of acceptance with those who are in the rings of the Inferno. We also see sounds imagery in Canto IV (4). “Breaking the deep sleep that filled my head,/ A heavy clap of thunder startled me up/ As though by force” (Canto IV lines 1-3). Since Dante was not yet accustomed to the Inferno, the Inferno woke him up with a loud clap of thunder in order that he may become better accustomed to the sounds of torture. Dante expected to hear tortured souls, especially because Virgil’s face became white with pity for the pain the virtuous pagans face in the first circle of the Inferno. But, we do not hear any...

Words: 475 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Dantes Inferno Level of Sins

...Riu Montego Bay Riu Montego Bay features 681 well-appointed guestrooms scattered throughout the property. The air-conditioned rooms include a balcony or terrace, satellite TV, direct dial phone, radio alarm clock, mini bar, liquor dispenser, electronic safe, and a well-stocked bathroom with bathtub, double sink, hair dryer and an amenities kit. Connecting rooms are available upon request. At Riu Montego Bay, the large swimming pool is top of the charts, but the jerk chicken available at the beach is reason enough to stay on the beach! Reserving dinner seating at the a la carte restaurants can be a chore. Ask at check-in how to get a table for the evening of your choice. When you want a champagne experience on a beer budget, this is your place. Riu Montego Bay offers excellent meals and superior service as part of its outstanding all-inclusive package. Ditch the boring 9 to 5 and get yourself to Riu Montego Bay for a dose of fun and excitement! Whether you'd rather hang out in the infinity pool, or just take a moment to enjoy the wonders that lie beyond the crystal-white beach, Riu Montego Bay has you covered! Located only three miles from downtown Montego Bay, Riu offers just the right blend of relaxation and exhilaration. If that isn't cool enough, you will love the weather. The Atlantic breezes keep temperatures comfortable all day. Riu Montego Bay Rose Hall 
Type: Buffet 
 Hours: Breakfast - daily, 7am-10: 30; Dinner - daily, 6:30pm-10:...

Words: 797 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...The Inferno Essay Dante's The Inferno, is an epic poem that has thrilled and informed the common man for centuries. He portrays a vivid description of one man's journey through hell and back with the past poet Virgil at his side. This epic has lead many through the depths of Medieval Christianity, displaying its importance on every society since then. With this description, man is awakened to the ethical, political, social, and philosophical aspects of Dante's time, later introducing the Renaissance era. Society in the Middle Ages consisted of two focuses; survival and God. These focuses lead many to forget the developed areas of knowledge and reason before their time. This society's people were believed to be laborers, or otherwise known as the hands of God, as displayed in their art work and literature. All actions were taken not for themselves but for God alone. This was described clearly, by Dante's witnessing of the thirteenth circle of hell containing the suicides. Those within this circle committed an act completely self centered, altering their intentions from God to themselves, leading them to a circle lower then murder. God and the church were not only a primary religious focus, but a structured hierarchy system for all society to follow. With God at the absolute highest position, his principles created an ethical map structuring nine circles of hell along with a social structure in the Middle Ages. This social structure was a fixed hierarchy where individuals never...

Words: 1230 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Aquinas Ideas Of Divine Justice

...In the texts The Divine Comedy, On Law Morality and Politics, and Revelations of Divine Love, there is a central theme of divine justice. In Dante’s Inferno, divine justice is God’s will for mankind and the order of the universe. In Saint Thomas Aquinas’ text, divine justice is the consequence of straying away from divine law. Finally, in Julian of Norwich’s work, the purpose of divine justice is to earn God’s mercy and eventually reside in his presence. Using different understandings of divine law and justice, each author is uniquely able to convey a similar message – mankind’s purpose is to achieve salvation and be in God’s grace. In Dante’s The Divine Comedy, the nature of justice seems to be impartial and unexempt from anyone. Specifically,...

Words: 1369 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...because they shall see God”, otherwise the ones not pure in heart would be committing the sin of adultery. Dante Alighieri writes about the Lustful sinners, which means the ones that were sent to hell because they were not pure in heart, in canto V of Inferno. Dante’s journey thru hell shows the types of punishments that the sinners received according to their way to live on earth. As Dante is being lead by Virgil thru Inferno, Dante describes how is the second circle of hell, which contains the lustful sinners, the ones that went against God. Dante show the symbolism that reflects the sermon that Christ gave to the humans at the top of the mount when Christ said that “I tell you that any man who puts away his wife, except for the reason of harlotry, is making her the victim of adultery; and any man who marries a wife who has been divorced is committing adultery.” That goes to man and woman as well, as it can be seen, not only men are put in the Lustful sinners, women as well are send to there to pay for they sin. Dante explain the difference between lust as the sin, and love as being a sin when not pure, Lust being the attraction to the sensual part of the opposite person toward to a possessive desire of the body. The souls that are put in the 2nd circle of Hell are the Lustful ones, the ones that let themselves been taken by the heart and their love led them to death. As Dante describe “I learned that this place of punishment all those who sin in lust … as the wings of...

Words: 1579 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Francesca Da Rimini in the Divine Comedy

...Jason Liu & Peter Lin English 11 Ms. Wan Sep 28 2014 Francesca da Rimini in The Divine Comedy In order to better understand Francesca’s role in The Divine Comedy, it is necessary to first understand her backstory and how Dante is able to identify her. In many ways those who are personally identified by Dante in the Inferno are there for specific reasons. Each fallen character plays the role of shedding light on a specific human emotion or vice that acts as a pitfall. Francesca’s pitfall was lust, and thus she is condemned to be blown around for all eternity in the gusts of the second circle of the Inferno. This symbolizes how the passions in life blew the condemned whichever way they went, no matter the cost to those who they hurt. In her vivid interpretation, Francesca remains inexpiate to her infamous acts and even absolves herself from responsibility of sin of lust in a stern and regretless tone. Francesca is not repentant for her action while alive on Earth which is interesting side note. The love that she speaks of effects Dante so much because in a sense regretless tone about her adultery. She regards her trespass with Paolo as “past happiness” and this memory crave in her soul. It is meaningful because it is “no greater pain than to remember”(121). Her words elaborates all the details that how the others transgressed. She arouses Dante’s empathy by convincing him that she is the victim of the affair. The book she read, Paolo and Lancelot...

Words: 693 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Spread of the Vernacular Language

...continued to change. People had the ability to read and write, but the Latin literacy became limited to people during the twelfth century. Vernacular language was more commonly spoken, but writers began using the language in their writing. Vernacular language had an impact on cultures during the twelfth century. Before the twelfth century, Latin was more popular among people, but the origin of vernacular language began and spread. Latin language was very popular among the people. Latin was the growth of the Roman Empire and its language had spread, being used throughout the Mediterranean. Latin was originally an Italic language. Its heritage was the Indo- European family, and then later it started to influence other languages. Writer’s like Dante Alighieri began speaking to a wider audience. Vernacular was also known as “language spoken in the streets” (Sarye). The begin work led by the French was “Song of Roland,” which was the oldest of the songs of deeds. The Song of Roland was a poem with historical truth. It spoke of the time of military defeat or an epic drama with ideological importance. Chretien de Troyes appeared around 1170. This poem represents one of the medieval romances. This poem talks about...

Words: 508 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

How Does Dante Change Throughout The Divine Comedy

...The character of Dante changes throughout the divine comedy. There are four main points that should be noticed throughout the comedy that contrast the ways that he is acting. He progresses from a man that is straying from God's path, to a man of holyness and well being. Below are the four main transition points that Dante the character goes through. Beginning the story is a 35 year old man, lost hopelessly in the woods of life, until he notices that he is lost and decides he needs to do something about it.”So drugged and loose with sleep had I become when I first wandered there from the True way.”He tries to make his way to heaven but is halted by sin. Then, he meets Virgil, who takes him on a journey which begins the transformation of Dante. This is the start of Dante transforming into more than one who is lost, not following God to a good God following person. Dante and Virgil travel down into hell (the Inferno) only for Dante to faint in the second circle. He is so overwhelmed by this emotion that he faints.”Blind, like one whom sleep comes over in a swoon, I stumbled into darkness and went down.”As he descends down throughout the Inferno, sympathy leaves him. He hardens himself against all empathy...

Words: 694 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

How Does Canto Characterize Dante's Inferno

...How would you picture Satan? According to Dante’s Inferno explains a visual picture of how Satan appeared to be when he reached the bottom of Hell. The picture of Satan most likely wont satisfy the reader because many believed that Satan looked completely different rather than how the book explained how he looks. Lucifer was this big person, with wings, who had one head, but with three faces. The face in the middle was red, the one on his right was yellow, and the left was black. Each face had two eyes, and a mouth that chewed on a sinner. The place in the bottom of the slope is neither day nor night. What may surprise the reader about Dante’s Satan is that he is eating people rather than telling other what to do. Also, that he has three faces. Dante represents the ultimate evil this way to show the ready how nasty and sick this Satan looks and is. Even though Dante presented Satan as this horrible angel who transformed into a gruesome person, the reader can still be surprised into how he described him and how they might feel towards what Satan looks like and how contrapasso ties into this poem greatly....

Words: 600 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Dante's Inferno: Jason

...John Anhcondo 02/02/13 G4 Dante’s Inferno: Jason Jason and the Argonauts, a hero of Greek mythology, punished for the sins of a seducer in the eighth circle of hell. He is to march for all eternity and be whipped by demons supervising himself and the other sinner in Dante’s Inferno. One might ask is this punishment too severe, whether it’s for the seduction and abandonment of two women, or even poetic justice for his sins. Jason of Iolcus in Thessaly, the son of the former king of Iolcus, Aeson, was one of the heroes taught by the centaur Chiron. As a young man Jason went to the court of his uncle Pelias to reclaim the throne his father had given his uncle with the condition that Jason would become king when he came of age. King Pelias, warned by an oracle that a man with one sandal would cause him to lose the throne, was alarmed when he saw Jason because, while crossing a river, Jason had lost one of his sandals. To stave off the oracle's predicted ill fortune, Pelias sent Jason on what was presumed to be a suicide mission, which was to fetch the Golden Fleece from Colchis. Jason succeeded in the seemingly impossible quest, with the help of his many heroic friends, known collectively as the Argonauts, and by charming the king's daughter Medea, a witch/sorceress. (It should also be noted that before he met Medea he had slept with a woman of The Isle of Lemnos, and left her with child When he left Colchis, Jason was obligated to take Medea with him because she had betrayed...

Words: 949 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...Pier della Vigna In canto XIII of Inferno, Dante enters the Wood of Suicides where he encounters Pier della Vigna, an Italian statesman who was accused of treason by Emperor Frederick II and consequently blinded and sentenced to life in prison. Born to a modest family, Pier was granted an outstanding legal education and possessed an abundance of rhetorical talent, both of which undoubtedly led to his rise to power within medieval Italian society. As his power grew, Pier’s political enemies began to grow envious of his political standing and started to plot against him, directly leading to his his fall from power and his eventual imprisonment. While he was imprisoned, Pier brutally took his own life by smashing his head against a wall until he died, and thus according to Catholic ideology damned his soul to hell forever. However, Dante’s placement of Pier in the Wood of Suicides as opposed to the circle for traitors, as well as his conversations with Pier point to the fact that Dante pitied della Vigna and empathized with his claims of innocence. In spite of Dante’s empathy for a man whom he saw as a faithful servant who was unjustly punished for a crime he did not commit, Pier della Vigna still violated Catholic doctrine by taking his own life and for this reason his soul will forever remain in the Wood of Suicides where, even after the Last Judgment, all those who took their own lives will in theory retrieve their corpses and hang them on the trees in the wood as a sign of their...

Words: 1254 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...Felix Siri Professor Chene Heady October 2nd, 2012 English 201 Character Analysis: Lucifer in Dante's Inferno Dante's Inferno in the Divine Comedy portrays Dante accompanied by Virgil, famous author to the Aeneid, journeying through the nine circles of Hell, encountering all sorts of demons, monsters, and the damned. Throughout this journey it is inevitable that Dante and Virgil will confront the greatest of the fallen, the lord Diabolus, Lucifer himself. Satan was once the greatest of God's angels, his beauty and magnificence was only matched by his arrogance and ambition for God's throne. Proving to be no match against his omnipotence and eternal power of the Lord, Satan was banished from Heaven for his treachery. His crashing descent into Earth left the deep pit that is Hell and the Mountain of Purgatory was raised on the opposite side. The popular conception of Dante's era depicted Satan as the ultimate master over the dominion of Hell and who always attempted to dissuade humanity from God's eternal light and join Lucifer in his damnation. Dante presents an almost polar opposite of the devil as just another powerless victim in Hell's tortures, based on his appearance, actions, and the ungodly center of hell in which the Devil resides. Dante's Satan is a truly horrific and yet almost pitiful being that resides n the lowest portion of Hell, the ninth circle that held the betrayers. Dante's apprehension to enter the ninth circle was well deserved, as it was truly a horrid...

Words: 980 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Dante's Infernos Influences on Other Works

...later pieces of literature, songs, poem, films and sometimes video games. The Inferno part of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy is one such literature work that is also one of the most well-known, well-referenced pieces of work today. It described in great detail Dante's vision of what hell would be like, and in doing so invented many of the tropes associated with Hell. This has led to several film adaptations and— most recently — a video game "adaptation”. References to Dante's Inferno in film can be found as far back as, draws heavily from Dante's Inferno. Se7en is a 1995 American crime film starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and many other star-powered actors and actresses. The film is about the hunt of two homicide detectives, Detectives Sommerset and Mills, for a sadistic serial killer who murders in correspondence to one of the Seven Deadly Sins which his victim has committed. The murderer is determined by his desire to punish the world for its ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins, viewing himself as akin to the Sword of God in handing out punishment of sins. As Detective Sommerset researches the Seven Deadly Sins to better understand the motive of the killer, Detective Mills simply scoffs at his efforts. Throughout the film, the detectives make numerous references to Dante’s Inferno. It can be said that the entire movie is based on the Seven Deadly Sins, which we presented in the “Inferno”. These sins are pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. In the...

Words: 987 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Fraud: the Gravest Sin of All

...“Abandon all hope ye who enter here” (Alighieri, 1321/1954, p.18) ---- an inscription that is found on the gates of Inferno which foreshadows the fate of the soul of the sinner as said in “Inferno” by Dante Alighieri. The book tackles different natures of sins that individuals have committed and the corresponding punishment that they will receive in different circles of Hell (Ciardi, 1954). Alighieri (1321/1954) notes that although incontinence and violence are serious sins, fraud is considered as the worst type of sin because it betrays a whole community of people and breaks the trust of one’s kin. According to the Shmoop Editorial Team (2008), fraudulent people are worse than incontinent and violent people because they have the ability to harm large groups of people instead of harming an individual. Fernando (2013) also notes that fraud also attacks the weak links in society. Fraud is a wicked act of man which God abhors the most. Gray (1998) states that “Dante possessed an encyclopedic knowledge and an unforgiving eye” (p. 26) since he condemned the fraudulent historical figures who were involved in scandals into various pouches in the eight circle of Hell. Dante placed those that went beyond personal betrayal into public treachery in the lowest parts of Inferno, which was the ninth circle. Alighieri (1321/1954) also categorized fraud as “man’s peculiar vice” (p. 85) because to him, condemning innocent others to sin through deceitful words is the worst possible act. Fraudulent...

Words: 649 - Pages: 3