The Inferno: Dante's immoral drama of a journey through hell. In his poem, the Inferno, Dante mentions many well know people. Dante mentions such people as Pope Anastasius, Alexander the great, Cleopatra, and many others. The poem is about Dante who has died, and upon reaching the afterlife, he was stopped short of heaven by three beasts. When Dante flees the beasts, Virgil appears. Virgil states that he is there to take Dante to heaven, but it will be a long trip through hell. Virgil tells Dante that the only way to heaven is to follow him. Dante follows, and the majority of the poem is a very descriptive narrative of what Dante sees and encounters. Throughout his journey, Dante sees and encounters people he had known or read about in life. These are all people who had sinned in life and now in death, are punished eternally. Dante's version of hell is that people will have their sin turned against them. In many instances, Dante points out what the sin of the person was, and describes in detail, how they are being punished in hell. In Canto III, The Vestibule of Hell, Dante talks about the Opportunists. Souls who in life never took a side, but instead were on the side where they themselves would gain the most. Among these souls was Pope Celestine V. In life Celestine allowed the church to become corrupted because he feared for his own safety. The pope, who watched out for himself, doesn't have a place in hell. He is neither in hell, nor out of it, as in life he was neither for good nor evil. The poem talks about a lot of people and what their place in hell is, and why they are in hell. By doing this, Dante has almost written a history book. He mentions many of the great leaders, Empire building , and church patrons. For example, in Canto XIX he mentions Pope Nicholas III. Dante and Virgil are crossing over the third bolgia. Dante looks down and sees that this is where the Simoniacs are. Virgil takes him down and lets him speak to Nicholas. Pope Nicholas III...
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