Dante's Inferno Research Paper

661 Words3 Pages
While overall a complex work, Inferno has a simple plot: In the first canto, Dante is introduced in a forest, pursued by a panther, lion, and she-wolf, and climbs a mountain where he meets Virgil. Virgil invites Dante to come with him to see the souls in hell and purgatory, and then to be led by “a spirit worthier” than himself (Virgil) into the heavens (“Canto I”, 1994, pp.7-9). Dante accepts Virgil’s invitation, and is led into the mountain. (“Canto II”, 1994, pp. 9-13). The duo arrive at the gates of hell and continue to the river Acheron, where they are ferried across by Charon (“Canto III”, 1994, pp. 13-16). In Limbo, the first circle of hell, they take a path that leads to a castle. Passing through it’s seven gates, Dante comes across…show more content…
Beyond him lies the second circle, in which those swayed by lust are swept in a fearsome storm. (“Canto V”, 1994, pp. 21-25). Making their way out of the second circle, the pair enter the third, in which the gluttonous lie as “[l]arge hail, discolor’d water, [and] sleety flaw” cover them, all while the three-headed Cerberus attacks them. (“Canto VI”, 1994, pp. 25-28). Plutus is stationed at the fourth circle, in which the greedy push boulders around pointlessly. In the same canto, Dante and Virgil cross into the fifth circle, in which two types of sinners are punished; the wrathful fight among themselves in the Stygian lake, in which the dismal are submerged, whose gurgling brings bubbles to the surface. (“Canto VII”, 1994, pp. 29-32). The ferryman Phlegyas gives the two passage across the Stygian, to where the gates to the city of Dis are. Upon their arrival, their entry is denied. (“Canto XVIII”, 1994, pp. 33-36). After this, Virgil points out some of the monsters inside of the city, such as Medusa and the three harpies Megæra, Alecto, and Tisiphone, until an angel arrives, and the company enters Dis. In the remainder of the canto, Virgil explains the sixth circle, in which heretics are burned in sepulchers. (“Canto IX”, 1994, pp.…show more content…
(“Canto XI”, 1994, pp. 46-49). The journey through the seventh circle lasts for six canto, though the circle is split into three sections. In the first of these, those who have done violence against others are guarded by the Minotaur and centaurs, who loose arrows on the sinners as they try to escape the river of blood. (“Canto XII”, 1994, pp. 50-54). In the second section, those that have committed suicide have been transformed into rough, knotted trees where the harpies nest, while those who violently consumed their own goods are chased and torn by “black female mastiffs”(p. 58). (“Canto XIII”, 1994, pp. 54-59). The last part of the seventh circle is also split into three sections: those who have done violence against God, nature, and art. (“Canto XIV”, 1994, p. 59). These blasphemers, sodomites, and usurers are on a plain of dry and hot sand, where fire flakes fell upon them “as flake of snow/ On Alpine summit, when the wind is hush’d.” (“Canto XIV”, 1994, p. 60). At the end of the seventh circle, the monster Geryon transports Virgil and Dante to the eighth. (“Canto XVII”, 1994, pp.

More about Dante's Inferno Research Paper

Open Document