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Hell In Dantes Inferno Essay

Dante Alighieri’s, The Inferno, is autobiographical account of his journey through hell. This story is the first part of a larger account known as The Divine Comedy. Dante wrote this passage during the Late Middle Ages, a time in Europe where the Christian faith was a central influence in life. His story describes what life after death was like for those who had sinned here on Earth. Dante Alighieri used The Inferno to teach both people then and now about the horrors of afterlife for those who went to hell. Dante begins his story by telling how he “has strayed from the way the True Way into the Dark World of Error.

This opening line allows the reader to easily relate to Dante himself. Straying from the true way is a way of expressing that he has not been following the correct path set by God for all living people to follow. Just as Dante had failed to follow the way, many others of his time and today still fail to follow it. Dante then describes how three monster-like creatures blocked his path up the hill and he needed to find another way. It is at this time that Virgil appears and offers to lead Dante. Their journey takes them directly through hell itself.

This journey through hell can be related to a religious pilgrimage. At numerous times throughout the nine levels of hell, Dante questioned Virgil and his faith itself. The purpose of this pilgrimage was to teach Dante what would happen if he continued to live on the sinful path he lived at the time. At each level Dante felt a sense of fear and a drive to improve himself. He continued the pilgrimage to better understand life and the afterlife as well as to correct himself and others that he may meet. Throughout this religious awakening, Dante indirectly passed on a message to the reader.

This message was one of redemption and possible change for those still living. He expressed that once in hell, a person is doomed for eternity. However, those still living have time to change their ways. For example, the fourth circle of hell is made up of wasters and hoarders. It is here that the people who either foolishly wasted or needlessly kept things on Earth would go in to afterlife. The Fourth circle was full of constant bickering between the two polar opposite groups and never ceased. The reader of Dante’s story could realize that this is not a desirable afterlife.

The reader may then take this message of redemption and change actions before they are doomed to hell. At each level of hell Dante recognizes multiple historical figures. These figures enhance the story and message Dante is trying to share. If Dante had just said there had been some random man in hell it would have little effect. The Ninth Circle in the Fourth round is the lowest level of hell. It is here that Dante saw Judas Iscariot. Judas Iscariot was the man who had betrayed Jesus and gave him up to the Romans.

Ironically, he is forever in the mouth of Satan being chewed or torn apart without end. Alexander the Great is another historical figure residing in hell according to Dante. Although he had been a reat ruler, Alex was also a ruthless conqueror. He shed the blood of his neighbors and thus he was qualified for the Seventh Circle of Hell. His punishment for the mass killing of others is to forever be immersed in a river of blood to symbolize all he had slain on Earth. The blood current was described to rise and fall but never shallow enough for Alexander to be able to raise his head above the surface.

By recognizing this well-known historical figure, Dante was able to relay this message onto the reader. Here on Earth, one should not kill others. Although, conquest may be the desirable thing, it could lead to eternal life n hell. By stating this, Dante could possibly convince current leaders to stop the actions or prevent future rulers from needless bloodshed. As seen, many of the punishments in hell fit the crimes these figures committed on earth. A final example of this can be seen in the Third Circle of Hell.

These figures are here because they were known to be gluttons while they lived on earth. Life in hell is opposite of what these figures experienced in life. It is said that, “In life, they made no higher use of the gifts of God than to wallow food and drink, producers of nothing but garbage and offal. ” In hell, they lived in a pile of arbage and were trampled on by others. These historical figures allow the reader to more easily relate and understand hell as well as serve to convince those still on earth to change their actions before they end up in hell.

As The Inferno progresses, the reader can conclude that political leaders tend to use laws to their benefit. At the beginning of Canto XVI, Dante is talking with men from Florence who are in hell because of their abuse to nature. They ask about the state of Florence and Dante replied that Florence is run by corrupt rulers. Just as the period Dante wrote, there are corrupt ulers and leaders today. Many of the crimes of these figures get overlooked or pushed to the side. An example of this could be the financial collapse in the United States in 2008.

According to Daniel Kauffmann, the government and economic industry had been filled with corruption and unlawful acts. He went on to explain “legal corruption” as a way lobbyist and private investors influenced policy makers and the laws themselves. Because of this, certain people and companies were able to continue to exploit others. After a period of time, this corruption and debt caught up to the economic market and caused a crash. Companies soon after began to go out of business at record speed. So much so that the unemployment rate more than doubled from per crisis in 2008 to the end of 2009.

Due to the corrupt actions of banks and other politicians, 15 million Americans were unemployed by 2009. The worst part about the crash was that those who were most responsible, saw little punishment of penalty for all they had done. For example, Angelo Mozilo is considered to be the leader in selling corruptive mortgages. After the crisis he was sentenced to pay $67. 5 million which may seem like a large amount of money. However, Mozilo made $470 million dollars in 2008 at the time of the crash in which he was able to keep.

Mozilo still saw large profits from the collapse while those who had invested saw their accounts go to zero. Bank of America bought out Mozilo’s company in hopes of recovering it and turning a profit. However, Bank of America suffered great loses because of it as well as their shareholders up until a 2014 settlement. In a Dante reboot many of today’s individuals and companies would suffer. There is widespread corruption not only in the financial market stated above but in all areas of the United States and round the world.

If corruption is a sin deemed for hell, many politicians and company leaders would surely see their way there. Dante Alighieri wrote The Inferno as a way to express his religious pilgrimage through hell. He is making a correlation between the sins humans create on earth and a place they will go to be penalized. The purpose of this is to reveal their sins and for humans to repent before they are doomed to various levels of hell. Dante uses historical figures to allow society the ability to relate both during the medieval time period it was wrote as well as society today.

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