The Bible

An Analysis of Dante's Interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah, and of Related Artistic Portrayals College

The Divine Comedy: Inferno’s “Canto XV” begins with the reader joining Dante pilgrim and Virgil as they exit the wood of the suicides on their way to the third ring of the seventh circle of hell: the burning sands. This is where the blasphemers, sodomites, and usurers are held for their eternal punishment. Dante and Virgil walk atop a narrow, stone path and when they reach the point where the wood can no longer be seen, they spot a group of damned souls rushing towards them. Among these souls is Brunetto Latini, Dante’s old teacher, and Dante is both delighted and disheartened to see him in this state. Brunetto asks to speak with him but admits that part of his eternal punishment is that he may not stop moving lest he desires to spend one hundred years laying on the sand and unable to brush the brutal rain of fire from his skin. Dante moves along the path with Brunetto tugging at his hem, the two discussing Dante’s journey through the nine circles of hell which Brunetto encourages him to continue in order to reach heaven. He laments his early death, falsely believing that if he had lived longer that he would have been able to not only support Dante in his work as a poet but also to see his own literary accomplishments reach...

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