Dante's Inferno

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Dante Algheri’s poem, the Inferno, attempts to perfect the concept of Divine Justice. Main Christian religious ideals and Dante’s political views and past encompass the concept of Divine Justice. Dante, born in 1265 in Florence, Italy, belonged to a family intensely involved in the political scene at a time of upheaval and unrest. Dante augmented his political standing by holding several public offices at a time of political unrest, and further, exiled from Florence. Dante’s political beliefs and past reflect the essence and spirit of divine justice in the Inferno. At the opening of Canto III, inscribed at the gate of Hell, reveals it as a place constructed by Divine Justice, Omnipotence, and Love. “Through me the way into the suffering city… Justice urged on my high artificer; my maker was divine authority, the highest wisdom, and the primal love…” (21). This inscription sets a religious tone, and implies that justice would be substantiated by strict doctrinal Christian values. While The Inferno, a strongly religious poem influenced by Christian morality, Dante incorporates his political ideals in his attempt to define Justice. Dante places numerous political figures through out the different levels of Hell. Farinata, the leader of the Gibellines in Florence, the party that opposed Dante’s Guelphs resides in the sixth level of Hell. Another Guelph, Brunetto Latini, Dante’s teacher at his university and a sodomite, resides in the seventh circle of Hell. Also, in the Seventh circle of Hell, Dante reveals his disdain for Florence, when he talks to three Florentine souls, expressing that arrogance reigns the damned city, “Newcomers to the city and quick gains have brought excess and arrogance to you, o Florence” (147). Dante reveals the corrupt political nature of Florence by placing numerous Florentine souls in Hell. More importantly, Dante reveals the epitome of injustice through the corruption and turmoil of Florence. While religion, a guiding force...
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