Dante starts in the Forest of Error when he is just 35 years old. The Forrest of Error symbolized his sin and the sin of the world. He tries to get through the light on the top of the hill which represents Christ but a leopard, lion, and a she wolf bock his way. So Dante, and his partner deicide to take the alternate route through hell.
After they pass into hell he goes through the nine circles. The first circle is for well meaning heathens that couldn’t pass on to heaven or purgatory because they died before Christ brought redemption. The second circle through the sixth circle was for those who could not control their worldly desires. The seventh circle was reserved for those who committed violence against God, others, and themselves. The eighth circle was for deceivers and hypocrites, and the ninth circle was for the evilest of these.
Next he arrived in purgatory. Here people must purge themselves of sin to pass on to heaven. Dante is told that he must wash away the P’s (sin) while in purgatory. After he is purified he is able to pass into heaven.
Heaven is the holy and perfect place, it is a place of happiness. Although everyone experiences the fullness of Gods’ love ones placement depends on the level of goodness achieved in ones life time. The lowest level is the Moon followed by: Mercury; Venus; the Sun; Mars; Jupiter; Saturn; the Stars; and the Primum Mobile. The highest level is the Empyrean preserved for saints, angels, the Virgin Mary, and God Himself. Dante realizes that the grace of God is the only way into heaven. When he is accepted into heaven he could no longer remember the terrible things that he saw.