Dante in the Inferno

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

He learned about himself, he began by feeling ashamed/sorry for the condemned soles sentenced to hell and the punishment they received. He began changing his opinions of these sols as he journeyed deeper into hell, becoming less of a sympathetic and more judgmental. It seems as he got further into hell, he learned more about human sin and the purpose of their damnation. He sees some people he knew and despised in life, which he got joy from seeing suffering. As the journey progresses he becomes more in tune with god by understanding why these people in hell suffer, there morals were corrupt, yet Dante has no wish to abolish his morals and end up in hell with those less worthy. Over all I think Dante learned how to stay true to god and rather than feel pity for those who suffered, feel lucky that he was not them. Furthermore he is trying to reach heaven in aims at finding the woman who he loves, which may be interpreted as a selfish act, rather than morally driven purpose.

As I was reading the story I could not help but wonder why him judging others was appropriate, because only god could deem a sole unworthy for heaven and sent to hell, but he does begin to conflict through his own judgment of others. In Dante’s Inferno, Heaven and hell seemed more connected than in normal traditional sense, because in this story heaven ran hell and would command a level of hell to let Dante pass. As the reader the story told of the wickedness of humanity and the need for all of us to avoid doing such morally wrong things. The readers journey is not so different from Dante’s because the story is primarily about the levels of hell not necessarily about learning. The story was away to present a connection to god by describing what horrible things will happen to you if you stray from the moral guide. The story was interesting, because it provided a new interpretation of hell that countered the current hell definitions ambiguity. Because now the readers can imagine what sort of sins would be punishable and the sort of suffering they could expect. Now the reader can imagine how a life traveling on a sinful road leads to greater and greater suffering in hell by the roads end. Although because Dante does not reach heaven, but instead returned to earth. Perhaps the thing he learned most was how he had to live his life in order to truly be worthy of heaven.

One thought on “Dante in the Inferno

  1. swtrinchet

    I wonder about whether Dante had a right to judge other souls. I don’t think I agree with you that only God is allowed to do that. Part of the point of Dante’s Inferno, I think is about Dante learning to live his life on Earth and a key way to get there is understanding how other people have stumbled while trying to live righteous lives.

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