Empathy In Dante Alighieri's The Inferno

Improved Essays
George Shehata
Honors English 2; Period 1
Mr. Rasmussen
16 December 2016

Empathy
Compassion, it’s an emotional response used to demonstrate someone’s sense of pity, and it’s given when people feel sympathy or empathy towards another suffering human being. But what if an author writes an entire epic dealing with sinners who fall from the grace of God, and are punished, but the author still feels sympathy or empathy towards them? What would that look like? In Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno, Dante seeks to find the “true way”. Dante is confused and scared, but most importantly, still doubtful of many things. During his Journey through hell to seek enlightenment and enter paradise, he discovers sinners from his hometown, famous poets and fellow acquaintances. Dante’s journey through hell
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As a result of Alighieri’s compassion, the sinners receive simple and uncomplicated punishments, and are treated more pleasantly than other sinners in hell.
Alighieri displays compassion towards Ser Brunetto Latino, using diction and imagery in the seventh circle, The Violent Against Nature. Ser Brunetto Latino was an Italian philosopher whose works greatly influenced Alighieri, because he is one of the most important figures in Alighieri’s life, that explains why Alighieri chose to have Dante encounter him. Alighieri 's compassion is revealed when Dante is praising Ser Brunetto Latino with a respectful and admiring tone. He describes Brunetto Latino as a “radiance among men and speaks with gratitude of that sweet image, gentle and paternal” (XV, 80-81). The words in this passage illustrate how Alighieri feels towards Brunetto Latino, phrases such as “radiance among men”demonstrate that Alighieri is speaking highly towards him. This is critical because Alighieri is characterizing Brunetto Latino as an emitting light of

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