Dante Alighieri

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The Inferno written by Dante is a haunting and gruesome tale of one man’s journey through hell. Taking place in 1300 Dante writes about a character named Dante. Throughout the book we are not sure if the character is strictly sketched out like Dante himself or just simply named Dante. Most scholars of Dante believe that he used the name Dante but suggest that no evidence has been given to support the character Dante being based on the poet Dante. The Inferno is about Dante’s travels through hell with the help of his guide, Virgil. Dante gets lost and Virgil helps guide him by taking him through hell and then to heaven where he will see Beatrice, his love. During Dante’s pilgrimage he goes through seven different circles of hell. In each of these circles he encounters sinners who are enduring punishment. The punishment of each sinner exhibits contrapasso. The theme of contrapasso is displayed throughout Dante’s travels in hell. The punishment of the sinner fits the crime. This theory of contrapasso states that the souls suffering in hell should match with what they did on earth and that the sinner is never forgotten by God. The sinner will always be in punishment for whatever crime they committed while on earth. Dante uses contrapasso to help figure out his own morals and those of humans.

Dante and Virgil first begin by going across the river Acheron to the first circle of hell. The first circle of hell is also noted as Limbo. Virgil is a resident of the first circle along with others who did not know about Christ. Dante enters the second circle of hell which is for those who are lustful. Just before entering this circle lays Minos, who is a king in Greek mythology. Before sinners can enter, Minos hears their confessions and then gives them the appropriate punishment. In circle two sinners are punished for letting their feelings and passions get carried away. The fitting punishment for lustfulness is swirling around in a horrible storm. The punishment shows how...
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