Premium Essay

Punishment In Dante's Inferno

Submitted By
Words 438
Pages 2
God created the Inferno to punish the sinful souls and makes the each punishment appropriate for the sins. (Here the word “sin” means “crime.”) Throughout the Inferno, The Law of Retribution (contrapasso) rules over Dante’s Inferno, and the law states that the sinners need to suffered the same degree of punishment based on the sin’s nature. So the sinner who committed a terrible sin would suffer more punishments. In the second circle are punished those who are lustful. These sinners unable to control themselves to do the sinful things based on their lustful desires. The lustful sinners are tossed in a violent storm, and unable to control themselves in this circle. Following is a good example of lust characters: Francesca and …show more content…
Pope Nicholas III was one of the popes who was guilty of the buying and selling of the church offices for money, therefore he was punished to set heads down into holes in the rock, with their feet coming out of the hole tormented by the flames. He pocketed money in all his life, and now he himself pocketed in one of the holes in this Circle of the Inferno. In the Fourth ditch of the eight Circle, these Diviners, Astrologers and Magicians are have committed a sin of trying to look for the future, which is the power they were not allowed to have. Now they their heads can only see backwards of their bodies and forced to walk backwards for all of their time. They were not even supposed to see in front of them. In the Eighth circle are punished the Sower of Scandal and Schism, which caused divisions in many aspects, such as politics, families, or religions. These sinners are punished to be split by evils with swords, and healing as they are walking to reach the evils, and split again. Beltran de Bornio is a good example of this sin, as he carries his head like a lantern. Dante noted that he was a most effective example of the Law of

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Dante's Inferno Punishment Essay

...In Dante’s Inferno, the author chooses certain punishments for each sin in the 9 Circles of Hell. A few of these circles include Gluttony, Greed, and Heresy. In the story, at the gates of hell, it is said God created hell to achieve justice, and so each punishment is based off the desire for moral righteousness. The crimes committed in the real world coincide with the punishments for each sin in hell. As Dante and Virgil progress deeper into hell, the sins (received at the time) become more immoral and the penalties become even more severe. Gluttony is the third Circle of Hell. Souls of gluttons are observed by the monster Cereberus, a worm-like monster with three heads, and are punished by laying in filthy slush, while icy rain falls upon them. Elements of the punishment symbolize traits of gluttony. The slush represents the indignity when one indulges in excess of food, while selfishness is punished by having to lie where you can see no one else. Dante and Virgil speak to Ciacco, who tells of the symbolic purpose of Cereberus: “The ravenous hellhound is a torturer of gluttons. He feasts on our souls and disgorges them, so that he may always eat with insatiable hunger.” This creature may be meant to mock the gluttons as well, representing what God wants them to be seen as....

Words: 505 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Role Of Punishment In Dante's Inferno

...In Dante’s inferno there are punishments that are to fit with the crime committed, in order to fill in the sin that has been confined. In Dante’s inferno many souls are sent to their punishment in order to be equally punished, due to the crime that they have committed or sinned. In hell the levels that are set out apply to the souls that have sinned from the least , non-important sin to, the greatest more foul important sin. During Dante’s experience through the inferno he notices that each sinner is to be agonized with there own proper punishment that they too have done. That is why they are sent deeper into hell, when they have committed a grave crime. In Canto 6 there are , punished souls that are eaten alive just like how they too have...

Words: 692 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Sin And Punishment In Dante's Inferno

...The medieval system used authority figures to show their full power to potential criminals throughout history. Justice and hell is directly related to heaven and is heavily influenced by the church doctrine of sin and punishment. In Dante’s epic work, he takes us through a journey of hell to show what that experience was like. The overall experience, sin, and punishment offers the stories detail in many diverse ways allowing stories to be compared to the medieval code in the middle ages to how Dante describes it. There are differences and similarities when using Cantos V, XI, and XII. Roman traditions accounted further to the application of the doctrine, however brutality and punishment in regards to the medieval code was effectively portrayed in Dante’s stories. The crime should equally fit the punishment when using the punishment system since “each sin has a debt” that had to be paid back (Shuger 567). Myers also mentioned “organs or parts involved were treated as being responsible” (Myers 42). The...

Words: 758 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Dante's Inferno How the Punishment Fits the Crime

...To merely say that Dante was interested in the world of hell would be an understatement. His needs to explore and write about the nine different realms could best be described as an obsession. It’s an adventure, a tale, a dream (or nightmare) of different historical, biblical, and Greek gods and creatures living their lives in the afterlife of the underground world. Each level has its own form of punishment fitting the crime one has committed. Level one, Limbo: for those who have not acted upon sin to be punished for, but rather didn’t accept Christ as their savior. Those in Limbo aren’t harmed or living in suffering. They live in a deficient form of heaven. The place is green and peaceful, but the people there are full of sorrow and sadness. Because they lacked the initiative to accept God, they are punished by not being put in heaven and instead rest in a place that’s almost like it, minus state of mind of living in eternity with an overwhelming feeling of joy. They did not turn away from God, but at the same time did not let Him in their lives. The people here live in constant hope that God will again descend from Heaven and save their souls like he has before, but their desire is the only thing they live off of. Those that have sought after lust or have let it control their lives are stuck in the second level of hell. They are swayed restlessly by the strong winds of a storm. They are the first ones to be punished in hell. “the sins or crimes are mostly...

Words: 1227 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Dante's Inferno

...The impact of Dente’s Inferno on European Society and History, a reflective essay “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” resonates across the centuries. For over 650 years, from the time it was written until today, critics have analyzed and reinterpreted The Devine Comedy and especially Inferno, written by Dente Alighieri (1265–1321) while he was in exile from Florence, Italy . The fact that it has tremendous impact on art and literature is evident by the centuries of continuous study and the number of notable authors and artists whose works clearly reflect an influence from the theological, political or poetic value of the piece. T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) wrote in a 1929 essay that “Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third,”1 Certainly the word pictures in Inferno are vivid and memorable. But did Inferno actually influence society? Did it shape history? Did thought leaders of Dante’s time and over the centuries following find inspiration in its pages such that the Western world today is different than it might have been without Inferno? There are few works of literature to emerge from the Middle Ages with a lasting legacy to the modern world. Historically, Inferno was the first great literary work available in the vernacular, or common dialect, of a region. As such, it had an impact on the formation of the Italian language. More compelling, Dante’s work seems to be a dividing line between the epic poems of antiquity and the modern, humanistic...

Words: 765 - 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

Dante's Infernos Influences on Other Works

...Dante’s Influences on Modern Works Over the years some literature works have left a legacy throughout human history. Their legacy was built through their influences on the different works of art, sculptures, 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...

Words: 987 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Dantes Inferno

...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...

Words: 1056 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Dante's Inferno Through Film

...had baffled people from the beginning of time. A number of people have attempted to create individual ideas of what the afterlife will be like. This paper will try to find the differences and the similarities between the hell that is depicted in Dante’s Inferno and in the film What Dreams May Come. The film, What Dreams May Come, is about two people, Chris and Annie, who fall in love and become soul mates. Unfortunately Annie faces many hardships in her life after her two children pass away in a car accident in addition to her husband dying as well. Annie is unable to deal with the pain of her losses and chooses to commit suicide. Because of Annie’s decision to end her life she goes to a special place in hell for those who commit suicide while Chris is in heaven. Once Chris realizes that Annie will never be able to join him in heaven he promises to journey to hell and retrieve Annie and bring her back with him to live in heaven together for eternity. A difference between Dante’s depiction of hell and the film’s view of hell is the concept of where one goes when he or she dies being subjective or objective. In Dante’s Inferno, he creates a hell that is full of creative monsters, and terrifying lands filled with unthinkable punishments for the crimes that were committed while the person was alive. This hell is divided and then subdivided again into smaller more specific realms of hell. In Canto 12-17 Dante describes circle 7 as a specific place in hell for those who have committed...

Words: 1232 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Dante's Beasts

...The Beasts and Monsters in Dante's Inferno  The Inferno is the first section of Dante's three-part poem, The Divine Comedy. Throughout Dante's epic journey into the depths of Inferno he encounters thirty monsters and five hybrid creatures.  The most significant of these monsters are of central importance to his journey and to the narrative, as they not only challenge Dante's presence in Inferno, but are custodians of Hell, keeping in order or guarding the "perduta gente".  In this essay I am concentrating on these prominent beasts, namely Minos, Cerberus, Plutus and Geryon, establishing why they feature in Dante's eschatological vision and discussing the sources which influenced his inclusion of these particular creatures. These four monsters all fulfil important functions as well as representing important themes in Inferno, establishing them as symbols which reinforce Dante's allegory.  Minos, as the infernal judge and agent of God's justice, represents our own conscience and morality.  When the sinners come before him "tutta si confessa", which causes the reader to reflect on their own sins.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 horror and adds to the alarming atmosphere.  His warning to Dante, is similar to several of the infernal custodians, who continually remind...

Words: 2998 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay


...August 20, 2015 3.2.13 Practice: Revision Strategies The tempest one of the most difficult Shakespearean works in my opion to stage, from its stormy, chaotic first scene to its sureality to its ambiguous resolution, with Prospero facing his silent, treacherous brother and renouncing the power that has made every action in the story possible. Potent language remains the central force and mystery of this fathomless play. Prospero speaks almost a third of the lines in The Tempest, and controls the amount of speech every other character on the island has through manipulation and magic. Prospero’s narrative of how he came to the island, what he did once there, and what he is owed for this history, goes largely unchallenged in the text. Yet the play offers innumerable readings and opportunities for alternate staging, particularly in light of postcolonial discourse about Prospero’s relationship with Ariel and Caliban, the legitimacy of his authority, and the nature of his magic and command over language. Though Prospero can be played many ways, there is no doubt he is The Tempest’s show runner. The metatheatrical nature of the play sometimes detracts from its action on the page, but it also offers the chance to explore exactly why Prospero needs an audience for his revenge, and whether or not it satisfies him, onstage. Prospero restricts the sight and knowledge of the other characters, putting them to sleep or manipulating them with invisible forces, but he often lets us, the audience...

Words: 3114 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

The Human Body In Dante's Inferno

...are not able to control. Dante endures a similar fascination with the human body and its changes a parts on his journey through hell through the Inferno. Even reading this a second time, I was able to make even more personal connections with the book than I previously had. I have had many experiences where my view of the human body was being ruined by uncontrollable forces. Much like me, Dante’s fascination with the body often leads to disgust of even pain when it is ruined. Not long ago while I was still in my boarding school, my grandmother that I called Nana had a heart attack. She is fine now, but it worried our entire family...

Words: 1187 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Dante's Inferno Heros Journey

...Hero's Journey: Dante's inferno In many stories that are told and taught, there is a protagonist that experiences the call to adventure. This character soon follows into the path of the Hero's Journey. There, they transform their beliefs and ideas. They go beyond their horizon and expand their knowledge. In Dante's Inferno, Dante Alighieri tells his voyage through Hell in a poem in order to display his journey to God in a time when he had lost his way. The Inferno, symbolizes Dante's recognition of sin and the need to deny the temptations of man in order to obtain paradise with God. The Hero's Journey is depicted throughout the poem. The Call: The Call is the beginning of the Hero's Journey. It is when the protagonist or hero of the book is brought out of their domain and into the unknown. They are called to pass the horizon and enter into a mystery that will lead them to their destiny. The poem of "Dante's Inferno" opens up with Dante being lost in his pathway to God. On the morning light of Good Friday he realizes the error of his ways and turns to go up the Mount of Joy in order to leave the Dark Wood of worldliness and enter into Paradise. After being denied entry into the pathway towards god by three beasts, Dante's...

Words: 1762 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Violence in Dante's Inferno and Ovid's Metamorphoses

...Literature Humanities/Essay 1 27 February 2014 Violence in Dante’s Inferno and Ovid’s Metamorphoses Scenes of great violence, as the prompt says, are often written into dynamic narratives of great literary merit. From Dante Alighieri’s Inferno to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the inclusion of violence as a literary technique is used to propel the narrative forward, all while adding action, intrigue, and engaging the reader. Despite it’s validity as a literary technique, the inclusion of violent scenes in literature serve much more than the simple purpose of pushing a plot along a set of structured points. Scenes of violence provoke thought in areas ranging from human nature to the nature of sin, thoughts that often can’t be provoked my images of calm, sublime, or tranquility. Extreme violence, juxtaposed with other scenes, provides insight into the amazing nature of human capability and human nature. In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno there is an abundance of violence that is illustrated in varying ways. Despite the copious inclusion of violence scenes throughout the text, violence does not appear throughout the literary work for its own sake. As one reads on through the Inferno, it provides it’s own clarity. As the levels of Hell increase, the severity of violence does so as well. The violence that appears occurs in different fashions, sometimes mentally, sometimes physically and many times both simultaneously. The scenes violence included in Dante’s Inferno contributes to the theme and darker overtone of the poem...

Words: 1996 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Examples Of Contrapasso In Dante's Inferno

...Prompt 2: Dante’s attitude toward Contrapasso is that it is a divine retribution. The passion and the pain that you suffer matches the crime that you have committed but it isn’t the same punishment that you committed on another person. Dante thinks that this is the most fair because only god can be the judge and jury of sin. Retributive justice is the “Eye for an Eye” concept, where the pain that you inflicted is the same punishment that you receive. Dante doesn’t believe in this because Geri Bello murdered his family member but his family members death will remain unavenged. He says, “Made him disdainful; whence he went away, As I imagine, without speaking to me, And thereby made me pity him the more." (Inferno: Canto XXIX: 34-36) This shows...

Words: 636 - Pages: 3