There is one question that lingers in the back of everyone’s mind, and that is what happens after someone died? Authors Dante Alighieri, who wrote “The Inferno” and John Milton, wrote the “Temptation of Eve” were both writing about things that could not be explored by living people. Dante’s main character, the poet, is also his alter ego, so it is a first person perspective of him. Milton’s main character, Eve, is from the bible from the story of Adam and Eve and in the Garden of Eden.
The plot of the inferno is The Poet goes on a journey through hell with assistance from the spirit Virgil, and the plot of the “Temptation f Eve” is Satan tempts Eve to east the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Through comparable themes, the Motif of Sin, and Characterization, Alighier’s The Inferno and Milton’s The Temptation of Eve explore uncharted worlds and answer humanity’s eternal questions. Alighieri creates a world where a person’s sins on earth correspond with their punishment in Hell. The Poet and Virgil reach the third circle of where they came across an illusion that sat us as they were passing by.
His name is Ciacco which is a nickname given to him while he was alive, which means the hog because he horded his ood from the hungry, and binge on the food. This is appropriate because of his sins during life his punishment in the afterlife is of equal caliber and similar to the crime committed. James Wood also makes a similar point that while “it is less that Dante’s Hell is life-like, than that our life can be Hell-like, ” (Bloom) which I agree with much so because each circle accurately shows how one was in their life.
Not only does sin affect one punishment in the afterlife, but it can also affect someone while alive. Now talking about Milton’s the temptation of eve. (Another Example) Eve’s vanity is her downfall because it leads her to committing the Original Sin and disobeying God. Eve has been tempted by Satan and eats from the tree that God forbids her from eating from. After the temptation was complete “Her rash hand in evil hour Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat” Eve has now sinned by her actions of eating the fruit disobeying God’s commands.
From a secondary source examples how “The Fall, the primal sin was not pride but simply disobedience,” and that (Gillum). I believe that this is true because Eve ate the apple to gain knowledge to become more godlike strengthening her anity, but by doing this she breaks God’s only rule, which even though her intentions were good is still disobedience. Another secondary source states that “The notion… of disobedience could justly lead to the ruin of a world” which is the outcome of Eve’s disobedience (Gillum).
In the story of the temptation of eve this is found to be true because with Eve disobedience, she creates the original sin, therefore punishing all of mankind. Now from disobedience in Milton’s world of the Garden of Eden, Now examples of disobedience in Alighieri’s version of Hell. Alighieri’s Hell shows examples of disobedience through Paolo nd Francesca. While on their journey the Poet runs into Francesca, who he knew during life, and she tells her story of lust and her adultery towards her husband’s brother.
Because Francesca broke her vows and disobeyed her husband by having an affair with his brother committing the sin of lust damning them to hell for eternity after death. a couple that could be compared to them is Lancelot and Guinevere which is actually the reason why they had their affair in the first place, to be like them. While exampling the circle of Lust Bleiberg states that “Francesca explains to Dante that what first sexually ttracted them, impelling them to commit adultery, was their shared reading of a romance about the adultery of the Arthurian characters Lancelot and Guinevere” (Bleiberg 188).
Sinning is disobeying God and by mimicking one of the first couple to commit adultery makes their actions even worse because not only did the have an affair, but it is because a story compelled them to commit the deed. From themes and motifs, now continuing on to characterization. Through characterization Alighieri show that the main protagonist, The Poet, is weak and has a flaws of having to much empathy and ompassion for sinners, but by the end of his journey is strong will with control of his emotion. The Poet on his journey finds himself in the second circle of Hell, Lust.
Because of Francesca sob story the poet was overcome with pity and fainted. The Poet faints because of words alone showing that he has too much empathy for other to the point where it overwhelms him. As The Poet continues on his journey he gain control of his emotions The Poet is traveling on the river Styx when a soul rises up before him weeping. He attacks the soul with his words without any empathy or compassion. The Poet is showing that he cannot only control his empathy for sinner, but can also uncover a darker side of himself through his hostile words.
Like the Poet, Milton’s protagonist Eve is also weak and has her flaw of vanity, which will lead to her downfall. The cause of the Poet’s maturity change through his journey is because of his guide and teacher Vigil. Through Characterization Alighieri presents the Poets guide on his journey, Virgil, as a wise entity that becomes like a teacher to the Poet being patient with him, and later becomes harsh for the Poet well being. When the Poet and Virgil first ncounter each other Virgil offer to guide him through Hell to reach the top of the hill.
Because the journey through Hell will be treacherous “[Virgil] judge it best that [the Poet] follows [him]” so that he will be stay safe and not perish (Alighieri I, 88-89). This is the beginning of Virgil become a teaching figure for the Poet where he will share his knowledge and wise with the Poet so that when he inevitability leaves the Poet, the Poet will have the ability continue on without him. –When Virgil and the poet reach the seventh circle, the Circle of Violence, Virgil shares his some information of the structure of Hell more pecifically the lower circles of HellI.
Virgil informs the Poet that the final three circle within each circle there “are three small circles, From grade to grade,” which not only show Virgil’s vase knowledge of Hell, but also his ability to teach the Poet for what lies ahead on their journey (XI 17-18). Nearing the end of their journey Virgil and the Poet reach the eighth circle of Hell where the Poet empathy gets the best of him, and Virgil has to chastise him because he should not feel pity of the sinners.
Because the Poet “truly wept” for the sinners Virgil called him a “fool” and xplains why he should not feel “compassion for the doom divine,” which shows that Vigil can be harsh towards the Poet even though he wants the best for him (XX 25-30). This is not the first time Virgil has rebuke the Poet for pitying sinners, but what is different this time is that “rather than expressing pity for an individual sinner like Francesca or Ciacco, [the Poet] seems to question the form of God’s punishment itself,” which that in itself is a sin (“Inferno: Cantos 18-:30. “).
Virgil is wise and disciplined unlike Milton’s main protagonist; Eve who is weak willed and easily succumbs to temptation. Eve, superior to all with her beauty, through characterization her vanity will be her downfall. Satan is trying to tempt Eve into eating the forbidden fruit by flattering her and her beauty. Because of Eve’s beauty Satan’s uses this to his advantage and greet her by calling her the “empress of this fair World” meaning she is the most beautiful of all (Milton 568). Satan knows by complimenting Eve she’ll drop her guard, and his able to persuade her into disobeying god and eating the fruit.
Lucifer knows Eve’s flaw of vanity and he uses that to his advantage to get her attention. By Satan describing Eve as “universally admired” this not only is the phrase that really gets Eve to start listening to him, but it also show even Satan is in awe of her beauty (Milton 542). Satan’s barrage of flirtatious compliment is charming Eve making her more submissive and easier to persuade. Eve’s creates a foil of Satan by being a beautiful create created by God, while Satan is a serpent that was cast out of Heaven by God.
Milton in “The Temptation of Eve” Humanizes Satan by giving him doubt when he first encounters Eve, and giving him a charming and wise diction, while also describing his physical appearance revealing hat even pure evil can also have a weakness. As Satan approaches Eve in the Garden her beauty dumbfounds him, so he stops and observes her. She is so beauty that Satan’s “malice is overawed” for a brief moment he is “stupidly good,” which shows that even Satan, a being of pure evil, can have a warm heart (Milton 461-465).
Milton makes Satan almost human in the sense that he saw feels emotions like anyone else could feel. After approaching Eve he begin to tempt her into eating the fruit of the tree and Eve is shocked that Satan can speak. Satan has the “language of man pronounced by tongue of brute, and uman sense expressed” which reveals that Satan, even though in the form of a serpent, his very humanlike in the regards of his speech and sense (Milton 553-554). This again is an example of how Milton is humanizing Satan by making him more like human and less like a demon.
Before Satan begin his temptation of Eve Milton first gave a description of the serpent’s body. Satan’s body is “Circular base of rising folds, that towered Fold above fold, a surging maze,” which is Milton’s attempt to give evil a more detailed imagine. (Milton 498-499). Like Dante does with his Hell, Milton tries to make abstract concepts like vil and Satan easier to comprehend. Looking at the bigger picture from the content in the stories themselves, now discussing the creation of theses worlds and thought behind them.
Dante’s Version of Hell is interesting because it is a creation of his own design. Need a quote from the book. From a secondary source Bleiberg states that Dante’s Hell is “funnel- shaped” and “organized by various sins-not the traditional Seven Deadly Sins” also says that it is “Dante’s own personal ranking of sins that adversely affect mankind” (Bleiberg 186). This shows that Dante want his Hell to be more personal to him, nd not the conventional structure made by the Church.
Near the end of the Poets journey when he confronts Lucifer he is also confronted by the “anti-Trinity of other traitors in his triple jaws: Judas, Brutus, and Cassius, who respectively betrayed Christ and Julius Caesar, representing Church and Empire” (Bleiberg 188). Dante created this anti-trinity to be the opposite of the already existing Holy trinity just like Lucifer is the opposite of God. While Dante’s world was of his own creation Milton took a world that is already in existence, but put his own ideas on what actually happened in that world.
Milton has created a Garden of Eden based on the one from the bible, but fills in the gaps left in biblical text, answering unanswered questions. For example in biblical text Lucifer goes directly into his depiction by calling God a liar “You will not certainly die” after Eve said that God told her that she would die if she ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil; However in Milton’s interpretation he first charms Eve before he is able to start tempting her to eat the fruit (Bible NIV gen 3).
While the Bible tells the true story explaining what happened between Lucifer and Eve, while Milton describes with detail what he believes happened which reveals that Eve becomes more susceptible to persuasion if she is first charmed. Part of Lucifer charm is that he refers to Eve as “Empress” and later tells her after she eats the fruit she will be “Queen of this Universe” which reveals that Milton believes she ate the fruit to gain power because as Lucifer titles for her become great she becomes more intrigued and because of that eats the fruit (Milton 626-684).
Both Dante’s Hell and Milton’s Garden of Eden are interesting because they get abstract concepts like Hell and details about the Garden of Eden, and gives them structure and detail that has not been present previously. The overarching idea of the struggle between good and evil in both Dante’s and Milton’s story presents itself in several different forms.
The Poet’s internal struggle of compassion for the souls of the sinners, and Eve internal struggle of whether or not to eat the fruit are both strong example of good and evil ecause is shows evil trying to over come good by ways for pity and curiosity. Not only does this idea apply to both story, but also can be apply to the lives of any living being. Whether it is as simple as cheating on a paper, or as complex as global issues around the world the struggle is the same. The struggle between good and evil is fought everyday in people’s lives, and the hardest part is trying to overcome that evil.