Through his journey through Hell, Dante learned the immense suffering waiting for those who are condemned to it and the relief and gratitude that should be felt by those who are not headed there. As Dante heads deeper and deeper into Hell, he becomes more desperate to get out of there. He becomes more grateful for the journey nearing completion and for the relief he will feel once he is past all the clutches of Satan.
I do not feel like a learned all that much from this book, honestly. I experienced more of a reevaluation of what I believe about the afterlife. Although I do believe in a Hell and a Heaven, mine are very different from those proposed by Dante. As I became more acquainted with the story, I took the images and ideas offered and compared them to my personal beliefs. First of all, I do not believe in a ranking of sins, thus I do not believe in the ranking of sins based on their evilness. I understand the need for that kind of reasoning within our justice system, but once we are dead, I do not think it matters how “bad” we were. Secondly, I do not think that anyone would have to travel through Hell to get to Heaven. This, however, I have come to be able to apply to the sinner’s journey while still living. It is actually very helpful in giving an image to idea of the road one must take to their own salvation. It is often only when we have reached our lowest point in life that we can find the road to salvation.
Dante learned how strict and structured Hell was and, by extension, all of the things he needed to avoid doing in order not to land himself in any of the levels of Hell. I learned that the more specific and literal religious literature gets, the more outrageous it seems to me. I learned that I have a particular dislike of religions that have punitive measures built into their systems. It seems an unfairly harsh way of looking at humans, who most religions admit are inherently flawed. Are most of us really going to Hell? Because based on the system laid out in Dante’s Inferno, it would be very hard to avoid getting sent there.
What do you think Dante learned on his journey through Hell? How does it differ from what you learned while reading about the journey?
I think that Dante was able to reevaluate his life. He didn’t want to end up in one of the levels of hell. He was able to refocus on his life and what matters the most to him. If he did not change the way he was living, he was going to end up going somewhere that he did not want to go. He was basically given a second chance. It doesn’t really differ from what I learned while reading about the journey. The basis of both was the same to me.
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.
I believe Dante learned on his journey through Hell that people will be held accountable in the afterlife for their actions taken on Earth. Dante learned that one can be banished to Hell in the afterlife for reasons as simple as not becoming baptized to carrying out an act of betrayal of one’s fellow man. The level of punishment one will have to endure in Hell is dependent on the degree of the sin one partakes in, and this corresponds directly with the various circles of Hell. In order to avoid this fate, one should live their lives righteously according to Christian virtues. But what is more important in Inferno is that Dante wishes to relay a message to fellow Italians. This message is that the layers of deceit and unrest, which helped lead to the downfall of ancient Rome and contribute to the more present day (circa, Dante’s lifetime) city-state infighting, stem from excessive wrangling on the part of agenda driven Roman and Italian charlatan’s. Inferno attempts to put leaders and ordinary citizens on notice that continued greed and disunity will lead not only to continued strife, but also eternal damnation. This is evident in the many different Greek era, early Christian era, Roman era, and Italian figures that are of historical significance whom Dante witnesses suffering in Hell.
What I learned personally from reading Inferno is that Dante provided the reader with an in depth portrayal of one man’s vision of Hell. Although there were some sketchy observations about causes which led certain individuals to Hell in the afterlife, I think the message that actions of an individual which serve to harm another individual are wicked and indeed deserving of punishment. But ultimately what I learned after reading the journey is how little I understand about ancient and Italian history emanating from the middle ages. As I tried to examine each minute footnote for greater understanding of who an individual was that Dante observed in Hell, my mind was left with more questions than answers about what it was that I thought about a particular aspect of this reading. All I ultimately know is I have more reading to do on this subject. And if Hell is anything like Dante suggested, it is a really bad place to spend eternity.
I think that on Dante’s journey through Hell he learned that there is more to Hell then just fire and bad people. There is an order to it and a system in how everything works there. The nine levels of hell categorize the people that end up there. On a more spiritual level he learned just how much every action you make in your life will affect you in the afterlife.
While reading about the journey I learned about the different levels of Hell, so I would say Dante’s learning and mine were similar. I always just thought of Hell as an unpleasant place where people committed the worst sins went after they died. Before the reading I hadn’t really thought about what would qualify as a “bad enough’ sin to get you sent to Hell. It brought up the question to me, “Does Heaven work the same way?’
- What do you think Dante learned on his journey through Hell? How does it differ from what you learned while reading about the journey?
I believe that Dante learned quite a bit throughout his journey. I believe Dante learned that if he did not change the way he was living and treat everyone good he would end up in one of the nine levels of hell depending on the sins he did not repent. The nine levels of hell were places he did not want to end up being punished in for eternity. What Dante learned during his journey and what I personally believe do not really differ. I have always been taught to treat everyone how I would like to be treated and ask for forgiveness not “if’ I screw up but “when’ I do that I would go to Heaven. I think that Dante realized that truly believing there is a heaven and if he repented his sins then he would be accepted into heaven.
During Dante’s journey through hell he received quite an eye opener. Through his journey, he saw the nine levels of hell. After seeing all of hell and the terrible punishments associated with each level, Dante realized that he must live his life now understanding that if he doesn’t live well or live according to God he will find himself in the place he just visited, Hell.
For me, I raised as a Christian, although I don’t follow as much as I should, it did provoke some thought for me. Before reading Dante, I never really thought about Hell in layers and there being different punishments for each one. None the less, it did make me think about how Dante must have felt after seeing all that, I tried to put myself in those shoes. I found myself thinking that, if I had taking that journey I would change a lot of things in my life.
I think that Dante learned a lot throughout his journey. He started this journey in the worst place, Hell. He finds out the consequences of living life with sins. Living a sinful life you will find yourself in hell suffering punishment for the different sins that have been committed. I found that Dante learned a new way of life through his journey through the nine stages of hell. He came to realize that the price of living well was far better than the pain of hell. I can’t say that I learned a whole lot more than I had already known. Sometimes I find it hard to think about the life ever after because of all the possibilities in this world but I guess living a sinful life and being a good human being will determine your destiny.
I think the character Dante progressed from being more sympathetic and pitying to being cold towards the damned souls he came across in Hell. At the same time, though, he is also going further into the levels of Hell where the sins committed can be considered more abhorrent, so in a way it makes sense he would be more judgmental. I think the ultimate lesson is to make certain not to partake in any action that can lead you further away from the will of God, or sin, because his punishment is perfect justice that human sympathy and compassion may blind you to. This is something that I struggle with despite growing up as a Christian. God is supposed to be merciful and full of love, so it is difficult to grasp that people who were not born into or exposed to the Christian religion will be punished for it and denied a place in Heaven, instead stuck in limbo because they are unaware. It makes more sense to me that people who actively seek and act in goodness will be judged for what is in their heart. I have to remind myself that this is also an individual interpretation of Hell created by someone imperfect so I can’t read into it too much past the main message. This brings me back to something else I learned, which is that Dante as an author has already come to terms of this view of Hell he has created. Even though he sympathizes with these characters, he still judges them and places them in Hell, again asserting that as humans we may not understand but it is God’s will which is perfect.
Personally, I learned that everyone must actively seek the right path. Everyone strays, but you cannot expect an obvious personal guide like Virgil. You must be committed to your path and have faith that Christ will guide you should you stray.