The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam of Naishapur

Dante's and Khayyam's Opinions of Sin College

Dante’s Inferno and Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat define their essential beliefs and attitudes regarding sin and the meaning of life. Their contrasting opinions of sin outline the extent to which their values differ and the way they live their lives. Dante’s belief that hell was both a place and a condition where condign punishments were dealt out showed his strong belief that sins were meant to be punished according to their severity. On the other hand, Khayyam was an epicurean and a hedonist who lived solely for pleasure and disregarded the consequences of sin, thereby showing a strong contrast in their beliefs. In fact, many of Khayyam’s actions would have ensured him an afterlife in hell had he been Christian and the world was Dante believed it to be. Thus, while Dante advocated for a life lived righteously, Khayyam’s disposition completely juxtaposed Dante’s.

Dante believed that there were multiple levels to hell, where both the severity of the punishment and crime increased as one went further down in hell. In a dream that he had, he met a leopard, lion, and she-wolf in a dark wood forest, which he interprets as the three sets of sins, those being incontinence, violence, and malice and fraud. The first levels of hell...

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