Essay about Dante 's View On Hell And Purgatory

1649 Words Mar 5th, 2015 null Page
Throughout the Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri describes his mythical journey through the afterlife. Before ultimately reaching Heaven in Paradise, he visits two worlds: one of the eternally damned souls in Inferno, the other of souls being cleansed, in Purgatory. Upon first glance, the two places described in these works seem exceedingly dissimilar— in many ways they are— but upon further analysis, one will find striking parallels among many aspects in Dante’s perception of Hell and Purgatory. Instances of significant differences between the two realms primarily involve: the nature of time spent by the souls, or the varieties of the people in their respective afterlives. Similarities shared by Dante’s ideas of Hell and Purgatory typically include the structure and organization of the two territories, and the types of ironic punishment that Dante assigns to each sin. The similar structures and punishments give the reader insight on the life of Dante, and his personal views on sin, morality, and justice. The divergence in time frame between the Hell and Purgatory is crucial. Besides a select few people, typically biblical figures, no one has ever been able to leave Hell (Inferno, Canto IV, 49-61). Once assigned to a place of damnation, one must stay there for eternity. Dante makes this point clear through an engraving on the archway of the gate into Hell: “Abandon all hope you who enter here” (Inferno, Canto III, 9-11). As this line suggests, upon entering Hell, there is no…

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