Dante Paper

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Throughout history there have been many religions. Each of these religions has had an idea of what the afterlife consists of. Many artists and authors have portrayed their versions in their works. One of the best known authors is Dante Alighieri who wrote “The Divine Comedy”. In “Volume I: Inferno” Dante describes his version of hell in detail. There are nine circles of hell according to Dante; some even have multiple levels within themselves. Each level is centered on a specific kind of sinner that has to spend eternity in hell and they suffer a punishment that they have to endure for eternity. In the beginning of civilization in the Mediterranean and what is now Europe there were people of all faiths who sinned. As this history is learned there are five who could find their eternal fate within Dante’s Inferno. These include Peter Abelard, Justinian, Etienne Marcel, Marcus Porcius Cato, and Alcibiades. What these people did that can be considered a sin and what level of hell they shall endure along with their eternal punishment shall be discussed. Peter Abelard (1070-1142) lived in Paris during the 12th century. Abelard was one of the most sought after intellectuals of his time. Abelard opened his own school in Paris after he came to the conclusion that the teachers in Paris were not as smart as they thought they were. Abelard was so popular that he was even asked to teach some students privately. One of these students was a girl named Heloise. Heloise was the niece of a local cleric. At some point in the beginning of the teacher/student relationship, Abelard and Heloise began to be romantically involved. (Kishlansky, p.276) For this Peter Abelard is placed into the second circle of Dante’s hell. The second circle of hell is the place where souls of the lustful reside for eternity. These souls sinned in the flesh, turning away from common sense and what is right to pursue pleasing the wants and needs of their bodies. They are within a dark...
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