Category Archives: Week 8


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?

I think what Dante learned during his journey through hell was that he was finally able to see Gods justice and why God did what he did. During his journey through Hell he was able to see the difference in how people were punished for their crimes. Virgil and Dante made their way through the different circles and seeing this Dante realized that he had to change his ways and get back on a better path of life. The poem talks about pilgrim’s, which is exactly what Dante did; he took a journey to a land for religious reasons and he was able to see a new light at the end.

I have read about the story Dante before, and growing up with a religious background I understood the story. Sometimes you stray away from God and you go down a path that isn’t the best. Sometimes on this rough path you need to experience the  worst in order to appreciate what you had in order to get back to who you were.

Dante’s Inferno Journey

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?

When we first meet Dante, he’s going through something like a mid-life crisis. He’s lost his way, in a manner of speaking, and needs to find a way back to being a faithful follower of God. By following Virgil into the depths of Hell, Dante learns that your actions in this world dictate what happens to you in the next. Each level of Hell is reserved for individual sins – for example, Circle 1 is reserved for the virtuous people who haven’t sinned, but also haven’t accepted Christ, while Circle 9 is reserved for the Treacherous. Each of these Circles is accompanied by a very specific punishment; in Circle 1, the virtuous pagans are overwhelmed by a longing for God and will never be able to see Him, and in Circle 9, the trecherous are subjected to an ice treatment of varying degrees. All of these punishments lead Dante to realize that he had better get back on the straight and narrow path and find peace with God. I, personally, never really thought too much of Hell. I’ve always been taught that Hell is the place where sinners go to pay for their sins, that it’s basically a miserable place where you’re surrounded by liars, thieves, and murderers. The punishments that the sinful recieve never actually came up – it was just understood that Hell is an awful place that you don’t ever want to go. It’s interesting that Dante thought all of this out and meted out punishments that he saw fitting for the various sins.


Dante’s Journey through Hell

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?

I think Dante, during his journey through Hell, was able to see God’s justice. He saw individuals whom he had known or heard about throughout his life being punished for their wrong doing. I think it took a journey through Hell, literally or figuratively, for Dante to cope with life on this earth. Many people wonder why a God who claims to love people allows horrible things to happen to them. I think Dante would argue that God allows people to act how they please, and that those actions have detrimental effects on themselves and the people around them. Perhaps this is why God allows horrible things to happen to people. It is their choices and the choices of those around them that allows suffering to occur. Dante gets a glimpse of another reality, or perhaps a different part of the same reality, in which God has stopped putting up with those who cause suffering. He has put an end to their glory and keeps them locked in punishments they devised for themselves.

I think what I learned from his journey differed greatly from what Dante learned. I learned a lot about Catholic belief systems about heaven and hell. I learned that Dante had a lot of questions which he attempted to answer through his journey through hell. I have already thought through many of the questions which I think Dante sought to answer for himself through this story, so its effect was not as dramatic on me as perhaps it could have been.


Me and Dante – a learning experiance

dantes inferno

  1. Dante was at a critical point in his life when he found himself traversing Hell. He had strayed from the straight and narrow path of his Christian beliefs and was heading toward the fires and brimstone after the loss of his beloved Beatrice. Several times in the poem Dante is told he will find himself in Hell when his time comes. This future is one which scares him, he is shown the consequences of actions and I believe has a chance to change. Within the nine circles of the inferno, Dante, witnesses the punishment of God, from the first circle of limbo to the ninth of treachery. He experiences a wide range of tortures brought about by each sufferer’s choices in life. Dante has pity for those who suffer and often in the beginning is overwhelmed by the circumstances of the lost souls. His guide Virgil helps Dante to understand pity and the righteousness of the punishments. Dante learns about each sin and the punishments as well as the reasons behind them. Dante also learns not to pity the souls who are receiving God’s justice and to hold them to a higher moral standard, one which he also must hold himself too. During the poem Dante is referred to as a pilgrim. By definition a pilgrim is a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons; this seems to define Dante perfectly.     He is on a journey which will teach him about sin and himself, finally to point him toward the moral path of God.

Dante to me represents all humans. More often than not we must experience the bad in order to know the good. How can we appreciate the glory of Heaven and grace of God if we have never seen the justice of God and Hell in all its gore and flames? At some point in every life we are pilgrims, trying to find ourselves and our place in the bigger picture. Everyone I know has gone through their own personal Hell; some are still there. But most have come out the other side a better person, with more empathy for the path of others. Virgil as the voice of reason and the teacher helps Dante reach the point in his journey that he can come out the other side a better person with a clearer vision of the Christian path.

From Hades he Came

I was inspired by the graphic details of each circle in the inferno. In the second circle — Lust, it brought about images of whirlwind romances. Lovers forever caught in the gusts of their passion. In the eighth circle — Fraud, where flattery is punished by living in excrement, I found it fitting that those who piled it so deep you need a shovel to get out, find themselves in the pile of filth deep as that which flowed from their mouths. Unlike Dante in his compassion and pity for the sinners, I found myself intrigued more than empathic with the sinners. I learned I have little compassion for sinners as portrayed by Dante. Like a scientist I would love to examine what made the sinners tick and how the punishments tortured them.

I had to take the MMPI test (or as I like to call it — The how nuts are you test) for medical reasons several years back and in receiving the results the doctor said I was a hard person and a total witch; though he actually used the ‘B’ word to describe me. This reading and introspection brought back memories of that day and others when people have commented on my outlook as being harsh. I am a brutally honest person who does not sugar coat my opinions or sacrifice my values for another’s feelings. I personally found it hard to relate to the emotions Dante was experiencing to the suffering of those in Hell. Growing up on a ranch I experienced life and death and the consequences of actions daily. Choices made have an immediate impact in several daily decisions. Working with animals and equipment if you do not take the proper precautions or safety seriously it can cost you limb or life. I have always rode for the brand and lived by my word. My husband calls me naive because I expect others to stand behind their words also and to be true. I found the price paid by the sinners to be just and fitting, you do the crime you pay the time.  I know I am not perfect and my way is not the only one. My outlook is very different than Dante’s where as he can relate to the sinners the whole time I was thinking   “now you shouldn’t have done that should you, see where you ended up’.


Dante came out of the inferno with a clear understanding of all the levels of sin and the justice handed down from God. It showed him the right path and brought back his moral standard. It was a reminder to me that it is good to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see their side of the story so that we can share a greater view, whether you agree with them or not. It is not my place to judge. As it was not Dante’s place to change Hell only to experience and learn from his travel.

Dante’s Learnings

Perspective LeavesEvery day in life it seems as though we as humans learn at least one new thing. While we are growing kids we learn multiple new things each day. Even though not all of the things that each and every one of us learns are learned in the exact same way it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is wrong. While Dante learned one thing on his journey through Hell and had his own sort of interpretation, I also learned something during reading about his journey. They don’t necessarily line up the exact same but it doesn’t mean that either Dante’s learnings or mine are wrong. It really just means that each and every one of us has a different perspective when learning about something new.

DanteWhile I enjoyed reading this tale very much, I find it hard to really describe exactly what Dante learned on his journey. I feel that the main things that he learned were how terrible these sinners would suffer once they got to Hell. He learns how unfair life after death can really be too, according to his beliefs of what Hell is like. In the beginning of the story he seems to have lost his way and while he tries to move forward into the light, and kind of metaphorically repent, he is pushed back into the darkness by three beasts. That whole beginning seems to have an alternative meaning. The perspective that I see is that Dante is beginning by emerging from the dark, which could be seen as the sins he has committed in life. He is trying to reach the light and that could be seen as repenting. However, these sins seem to just pull him back which is where the beasts come in, driving him back into the darkness. So when he took that journey through Hell with Virgil that seems to have shown him what could happen to him if he didn’t escape the path he was on in life. It never said if or what Dante actually did that was bad and made him deserve this journey through Hell, but it must have been something quite bad.   But he was worth saving apparently because Beatrice came to help by sending Virgil to take him on this journey. That is so wonderful that Dante has an angel looking out for him. I think that most of what I perceive Dante learning lines up with what I learned. While there are some things about Hell that I find it difficult to fathom, such as how many levels there are and the order in which these levels go, that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t somehow be wrong though. But I think that from him seeing and learning about such terrible fates for these souls that it would help him and anyone else out of the bad path of their life. So I think that overall the message that I thought Dante learned was the same thing that I learned, just in a different perspective.

StarsWhile I’m not truly sure what to expect when I die and I expect that plenty other people aren’t either, I can hope that I would not go to such a terrible place as described in this tale. I hope to never find out what Hell is truly like. I feel that if everyone lives their life to the fullest and does the best that they can, by doing good then it shouldn’t be a problem to get into Heaven. I’m glad that we had the chance to read this tale though, it was very interesting and really made me think about things in a different perspective. Just like the above quote states it’s all about perspective.

It’s Your Choice and Yours Alone.

Discussion Question 8 — Inferno; MIDTERM

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?

Okay, just to reiterate what happened. Dante, the character went in kind of sensitive about the whole subject of Hell. I don’t believe he had a clear understanding prior to his experience of what resulted in a person’s actions while in human form. He burst into tears, cried, yelled then grew in to anger and flipped boats. He started damning all of the sinners who were already judged as evil. He learned that truly, about ‘karma’. From rolling stones with chests to being eaten alive by dogs, it really is hell. He learned that what you do on earth, if not pleasing to God, will put you here.

I want to say, now that I read my peer’s responses I could see how fraud and treachery would potentially be worse than murder as well so thank you for explaining that to me.

I don’t think mine and Dante’s learning was too different actually. I think he is still different than me as he experienced it first hand, so of course he learned more than me. Beforehand, I just pictured Hell as this great big, burning inferno full of hate and darkness. Not levels concerning the type of sin, but I was taught that if it displeases God than no sin is worse than the other, it is still sin. So I guess I never really thought about…what Hell does to organize its’ sinners or once the gate guard of Hell greets its’ new inhabitants there.

…All I know is.. “I AIN’T GOIN’!”



Discussion 8: Inferno

  • 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 what Dante’s journey boils down to is how and what we do here on earth will affect us in our afterlife. The choices we make here don’t go away when we pass they follow us and ultimately decide for us where we will be later on. I think Dante’s journey through hell was not only a wakeup call to him but to his readers as well. Even if you do or don’t believe in a hell, the just of it all is don’t sin, don’t be a bad person, just be good, be a righteous person. Bottom line is whether or not this is what hell is like I sure don’t want to find out. In relation to Dante’s story I believe that we are responsible for our own fate as well, the way we treat others here on earth, our actions and the sins we commit will reflect on us in the afterlife.

Discussion 8: Dante’s Inferno

Discussion 8


I believe that Dante’ learned that man alone was responsible for his own fate. He saw eventually all the choices a man made would have consequences that he had to accept. Man’s ultimate fate is his alone to decide.

Much of Dante’s sins and punishments seem to be directly related to the Bible. I found it a little hard to understand why people were being punished for sins they had committed before the Bible was even in existence. I had to take a step back from this and have come to realize that sometimes a person’s faith needs to be truly believed by them to have been in existence since time immortal. People will rationalize or simply ignore things which do not follow the dictates of their faith or religion. But in the end I think I have come to realize the same thing that Dante’ did and that is that we are all responsible for our own fate- here on earth and in the afterlife. While I do not necessarily think that the punishments he described are what awaits us I do believe that we will be held accountable in say way for our choices.