Dante’s Inferno XXIV to XXXIV Analysis
Dante and Virgil finally realize that they are not traveling the circumference of Hell, but rather spiraling closer to the center. As Dante progresses farther and farther away from Earth and all its idiosyncrasies, he begins to form his own opinions and ideas by seeing the suffering of people, some of whom he had known on Earth, and learning their sins. An example of an idea Dante once had that is now being lost is that of the importance of fame. Virgil tries to stress that fame is only gained through persistence and is otherwise beneficial. However, it is Dante who reaches the conclusion that fame is not wholly good. It can bring a person glory, but can also be the reason behind someone’s presence in Hell. Dante also again goes against what his culture places importance in by placing Ulysses (Odysseus) in the Eighth pouch of the Eighth circle of Hell. Dante sees the crimes that Ulysses committed rather than the glory achieved. He views the Trojan horse battle plan with scorn rather than pride as well. Another important and generally beloved figure that Dante, going against social norm, places in the Ninth Pouch, is Muhammed, the Muslim prophet. Once again, rather than seeing his impressive achievements, he focuses on the fact that he broke up a faith.
Throughout Dante’s and Virgil’s trip to the core of Hell, Dante encounters many sinners. He has a curious attitude about them and almost always figures out what sin he or she could have committed in order to end up in such a terrible, tortuous place. Once he and Virgil reach the Second Zone in the Tenth Pouch of the Eight circle of Hell, he meets a man named Master Adam who is being punished for counterfeiting Florentine money and must be racked with thirst constantly. This man particularly intrigues Dante as he chooses him to hold a conversation with. This interest provokes a unique outburst from Virgil. Virgil chastises Dante for beginning to watch the suffering just to...
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