Inferno Hero's Journey

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Throughout the poem Inferno Dante uses the outline of a hero’s quest to complete his character’s journey through Hell. The hero’s quest is often used because it is familiar to readers. Dante uses an abstract idea of a hero’s quest by departing Earth, descending through Hell, and finally realizing the mistakes he makes in life can lead to eternity in Hel Dante’s departure is the beginning of his journey through Hell. Dante is in a dark time in his life, known as “The Dark Wood of Error” (I.3). Dante soon realizes his loss and finds “a little hill”, which stands for earthly joy. (I.15). Dante comes in contact with three beasts, which symbolize: malice, violence, and incontinence in his life. Dante at this point feels like all hope is gone, …show more content…
He is faced with many tests, meets allies, confronts enemies, and learns the rules of the special world. His ally is obviously Virgil because he will be guiding him through this eventful journey. Although in many stations the hero has weapons Dante’s weapon is his faith. He does not have physical weapons, but has to remain faithful in God during this journey. He is also faced with many enemies and tests. The sinners cause Dante to show sympathy for them because of their punishments they have to face. When Dante reaches the fortunetellers and diviners he begins to feel sympathy for them. Virgil explains, “ There is no place for pity here. Who is more arrogant within his soul, who is more impious than one who dares to sorrow at God’s judgment” (XX.28-30)? Dante is not to show compassion for the sinners and they deserve their punishment because of their decisions in life. Along with the distractions of the sinners, The Walls of Dis are a main barrier for Dante and Virgil. When they reach the gates Virgil is very worried, but tries to not expose his anxiety to Dante. The furies refuse to open the gates and even threaten that Medusa turns them into stone. This is an example where they meet enemies in this hero’s quest journey. Later the heavenly messenger appears and Dante says, “ and we moved toward the city, fearing nothing after his holy words. Straight through the dim and open gate we entered” (IX.100-105). The heavenly messenger opens the Gates of Dis for them and they continue their journey. Dante reaches the approach when they enter the ninth circle. This is the most difficult part in his hero quest because he now passes Satan. Dante describes Satan as having “ three faces: one was in front, and it was fiery red” (XXXIV. 37-39). This must have been extremely frightful and made Dante wish to leave. He maybe even regretted committing to this journey because he has to face Satan.

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