Role Of Punishment In Dante's Inferno

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Hell or the underworld is a place where the evil are damned to an eternity of torture and torment to be punished for their wrongful doings while they were alive. In Dante’s Inferno, he creates a hell that has multiple levels for a variety of sins. Dante’s hellish underworld contains punishments that do fit the sinners crime, but there are a few that seems unlogical. Glutton is the sin of over-drinking and overeating, and doing very little except enjoying too much of life. The punishment for gluttony in Dante’s Inferno is to have “Cerberus, monster cruel and uncouth, with his three gullets”, he is to devour three damned souls (14-15). This punishment is quite logical for the sin against gluttony. Their whole lives the gluttonous have overfed and now something must do the same to them. Furthermore, there are those in hell who many have been punished for unreasonable motives. Many of the sous do not deserve to wait in misery until Judgement Day. Many of those souls lived a blessed and good life, their only wrongful doing was being ignorant of Christ and worshipping other gods. In limbo, there “lamentations none, but only sighs, that tremble made the lasting air” (26-27). These souls may not be screaming from torturous punishments, but sigh in misery. They wait to be judged upon and to enter either heaven or hell. In Dante’s hell, many of his punishments fit the crime, but some are unnecessary. He creates a truly cruel hell.

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