Punishment In Dante's Inferno

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In Dante’s The Inferno, Hell divides the saved from the damned. Within this Hell lies nine circles where sinners are sent according to their crimes. The farther down one is in Hell, the greater the sin committed. Yet a pattern emerges in how those who have sinned are punished. Those who have done harm to their physical body or other people’s physical body are tormented and punished much more harshly than one might imagine. A theme runs throughout The Inferno where those who harm their bodies are deprived of them or they are rendered useless by torture and anguish. When we first meet Dante he is lost in the Dark Wood of Error. He is halfway through his biblically allotted three score and ten years when he passes through the Dark Wood of Error.…show more content…
In the Fifth Circle of Hell contains the Wrathful. The Wrathful lived a violent life and brought harm unto other people’s bodies and therefore are condemned to the Fifth Circle of Hell where the Wrathful spend eternity battling and killing each other in the Styx marsh. Dante says it best here when he describes the senseless contest as “They thumped at one another in that slime/ with hands and feet, and they butted, and they bit/ as if each would tear the other limb from limb.” (55) We see again that those who harm themselves and others in the mortal life spend eternity senselessly slaughtering each other in the afterlife. The Wrathful souls have been deprived of their human bodies as daily they are torn apart in battle only to be torn apart…show more content…
Dante severely opposes the harming of one’s self and makes it extremely evident through the fate of all those who have sinned against themselves. In Dante’s The Inferno, the greatest depths of Hell are filled with those who destroyed the best gift God have given them, a human body and spirit. Satan also punishes these souls with not only cruel and painful torturing, but also with the irony behind their crimes. The glutton, who abused fine food and drink on Earth are now forced to live in and drink filth. The Wrathful and the Violent are forced to slaughter one another for all eternity. Finally the one’s who destroy the body God has graced them are denied even a human form in Hell and are condemned to the Wood of the Suicides where Harpies feast endlessly on their tree branches and forever torment them. Forever damned are those who destroy the vehicle for which they were given to go through

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