A Scholarly Critique Of Dante's Inferno

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Matt Anderson HUM107 Aldridge 27 September 2015 A Scholarly Critique of Dante’s Inferno The Inferno (which translates to “Hell” in Italian) documents the poet Dante Alighieri’s endeavors as he allegedly deserts the path inspired by faith and mindfulness and gets lost in Hell. The story is just one part of Dante’s politically influenced epic, the Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is considered to be politically influenced because the epic is a literary version of Dante’s reaction to the political conflicts in fourteenth century Florence. The author, Dante Alighieri was born in Florence around the year 1265 CE. Dante is one of the most well-known and attributed of Italian authors and poets. His works are still being read and analyzed almost…show more content…
Each of the nine circles of Hell were detailed and labeled by offense and punishment. In other words, the Catholic audience was able to create a mental image of the tortures that were being assigned to offenses of limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery. This allowed readers to assess their own lives and imagine themselves in their respective circles of hell, thus inspiring them to live by Christian doctrine. The reason this piece of literature had such a tremendous impact on so many lives is because Dante’s writing instilled fear into the Catholic population. Catholics were fearful of Dante’s portrayal of Hell and the horrors he witnessed while he was there. Additionally, Dante’s writing style was that of intensity and seriousness. This type of writing style set a harsher tone for the entire story which in turn, affected how members of the Church perceived Dante’s journey. The jarring tone in addition to the illustration of Hell scared Catholics even…show more content…
Dante’s expedition through Hell depicts the average human being and his declivity toward a life filled with sin. The path Dante was supposed to follow symbolizes the life of a righteous man, whereas the shadows of Hell represent sin. Dante quickly loses the path he was supposed to follow and just as quickly finds himself among Hell’s darkness. In the story, society is represented by Hell itself. Aside from all of the grotesque suffering, Hell is considerably similar to the world Dante and his audience lived in. The only difference was that people and their suffering souls were transparent, making their sins discernable by others. Hell and society however, both contain a diverse population of people, with different professions and social

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