Premium Essay

Sin And Punishment In Dante's Inferno

Submitted By
Words 758
Pages 4
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 …show more content…
It is important that a crime as such is paid close attention to within Cantos XI. God designed the order of justice, but breaks provided by the reasoning of Virgil. Explaining the relevance of Cicero's invention plays a role, but was not found in the Christian doctrine. Justice being in the middle ages were accepted virtues of Cicero’s work. The first was, “In the sense of reverence for and worship of a being” (Mandelbaum 160). Canto XI characterized sinners by these same virtues. The medieval system does not conclude that it is not related just because the religious context in the Canto and the neglancy from being accurate in the Christian doctrine. An individual's standard and virtues through the medieval code is the development directly related to Cicero’s work. Medieval context of justice still applies to the classifications and sins as described in Cantos

Similar Documents

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

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

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

Punishment In Dante's Inferno

...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...

Words: 438 - Pages: 2

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

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

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

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

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

Premium Essay


...adultery”, meaning that no man or woman should look to another with desire, or passion, or they would be committing the sin of adultery. The only person that should be desired or loved with passion is Christ. As it can be read in Matthew 5-7, “Blessed are the pure in heart, 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...

Words: 1579 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...Analysis of Major Characters Dante Alighieri Thirty-five years old at the beginning of the story, Dante—the character as opposed to the poet—has lost his way on the “true path” of life; in other words, sin has obstructed his path to God. The Divine Comedy is the allegorical record of Dante’s quest to overcome sin and find God’s love; in Inferno, Dante explores the nature of sin by traveling through Hell, where evil receives punishment according to God’s justice. Allegorically, Dante’s story represents not only his own life but also what Dante the poet perceived to be the universal Christian quest for God. As a result, Dante the character is rooted in the Everyman allegorical tradition: Dante’s situation is meant to represent that of the whole human race. For this reason, Dante the character does not emerge as a particularly well-defined individual; although we know that he has committed a never-specified sin and that he participates in Florentine politics, we learn little about his life on Earth. His traits are very broad and universal: often sympathetic toward others, he nonetheless remains capable of anger; he weeps at the sight of the suffering souls but reacts with pleasure when one of his political enemies is torn to pieces. He demonstrates excessive pride but remains unsatisfied in many respects: he feels that he ranks among the great poets that he meets in Limbo but deeply desires to find Beatrice, the woman he loves, and the love of God. Dante fears danger but shows...

Words: 847 - Pages: 4

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

Examples Of Humanism In Dante's Inferno

...Humanistic beliefs, humans no longer had to rely on God. Dante’s humanistic beliefs depicts in Inferno. In this Hell, Dante uses the character Virgil as a symbol of Human reason. With Virgil, Dante can show how Human reasoning can outsmart Christian sins. As Dante, the pilgrim works his way through the nine circles of hell, Dante encounters a multitude of sinners who attempt to trick or harm Dante. The sinners try to trick Dante the pilgrim through the means of the sin he or she is guilty of. However, because of Dante’s reliance on Virgil, he can outsmart the sinners and move on further into Hell. Dante’s Virgil leads Dante the pilgrim through his spiritual...

Words: 1364 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Comparing Dante's Inferno And Purgatory

...the Church believes. Separating the Churches beliefs of hell, and Dante’s is very difficult in terms of art. The amount of art that was created after the inferno was written that isn't heavily based off of the inferno is negligible. However, the Church believes that hell is just where people who go are completely separated from God, and there is no coming back. We can see the influence of Dante’s work in what basically everyone thinks of Hell, this horrible place that you go to be tortured for all of eternity physically, but the church believes that its more of a mental torture, knowing that you will...

Words: 1076 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Life After Death

...Life After Death, What Happens After We Die? Contents Introduction 3 Ideas on Life After Death in Different Religions 4 Perception of Life After Death in Literature: Dante's “Inferno” 6 Life After Death in Art: Rodin's “The Gates of Hell” 8 Conclusion 10 References 11 Introduction The question associated with life after death is associated with people of all races, genders, ages and world religions. It is understandable that people cannot live forever, and death is an inevitable event. But still people are interested what will happen to them after death, and what it means to die. There are great numbers of assumptions on this issue, and people's opinions differ, but still it is difficult to reveal the truth, as nobody knows this for sure. This paper will focus on different assumptions and possible events taking place after people's death. Of course every person thinks about afterlife concept in the current period of time, as it would be really strange not to consider this issue at least once. People should understand and be aware of possible events happened to them after life in order to value the current state of affairs and life in the present period of time. It is necessary to make the right choice and build proper relationships with people surrounding you, as every day is unique, and it would be impossible to return it again. D'Souza (2009) stated that the Bible teaches people “that...

Words: 2681 - Pages: 11