Divine Comedy-I: Inferno

Dante's Doctrine College

The Inferno by Dante is not only a catalogue of evil, it also serves as Dante’s outlet for his political frustrations. Dante creates a Hell where the punishments fit the nature and level of evil of the sin. In cataloguing the punishments this way, Dante shows the reader what he feels is the order of sins, by following strict, doctrinal Christian values. The moral system in The Inferno does not prioritize human happiness or harmony on Earth, but God’s will in Heaven. Along the way Dante uses his descent into Hell to show the sins of his political rivals and those who have transgressed against the state in the past.

Dante creates a correlation between a person’s sin on Earth and the soul’s punishment in Hell. The Lustful, blown about by passion in life, are caught by a raging storm and blown about for eternity. The Wrathful attack each other for the hatred and strife they created while alive. The Gluttonous are forced to eat excrement, because of their lack of control. This simple idea is used to illuminate one of Dante’s major themes: God’s wisdom and perfect justice. In Canto III, the gates of Hell bear an inscription that explicitly states God was moved to create Hell by justice. The reason...

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