Inferno in us all

What do you think Dante learned on his journey through Hell? How does it differ from what you learned while reading about the journey?

  • The mood of Dante’s “Inferno,’ from the Divine Comedy, is filled with contempt and displeasure, and it is reflected in Dante’s language. “The wood of wilderness, savage and stubborn,’ “Death could scarce be bitterer’ (pg 1214), “Her craving body is never satisfied,’ (pg 1216), to name a few right off the bat. Dante Alighieri is a wonderful writer and utilizes metaphors, alligories, similes, as well as emotion in his writing, and also uses many historical and mythical references, as well as incorporating the epics of The Illiad and Epic of Gilgamesh. That is why Dante’s message is so clearly portrayed by Inferno, he is a master of literature. As a part of The Comedy, Dante uses gritty detail with old English humor, basically the humor behind human nature.
  • To appreciate the story, the social and political condition of Dante’s environment is eye-opening. Italy was going through an issue of church and state, and while Dante Alighieri was a big supporter of the separation of the two, he was exiled as opposing the Holy Roman empire. Thus, his literature about the consequences of religious intimidation and brimstone philosophies are indeed comical, and satirical, although it is hard to discern this from his serious writings.
  • In the beginning, the 1st-person perspective of the pilgrim is limping, and this cripple is a metaphor for original sin. I believe the Inferno is about saving ones soul, and the boundless search for the meaning in ones life, but it is also about reflecting on other issues in life, ones that are not necessarily ones belief. For example, the Inferno is all about the afterlife, and hell and consequence and evil and limbo, whereas Dante was a believer of the separation of church and state, and was punished for that belief. I believe Inferno is a satirical journey through establishing one’s self despite the obstacles and challenges.