Summary Of No Exit And Dante's Inferno

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Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri and No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre both highlight the punishment experienced by sinners in hell, but since these stories are written nearly 750 years apart and come from two completely different places, No Exit being first performed in France in 1944 and Dante’s Inferno being written in 1300’s by a medieval Italian man, the stories vary in their telling of how hell is like and how sinners are punished in hell. In No Exit the Sinners are psychologically tortured through their interactions with other sinners, and in Dante’s Inferno the sinners undergo physical torture. Despite these very apparent differences, the two stories share many similarities in the ways they reflect the theme embodied by this quote, “There …show more content…
The punishment the sinners are subjected to varies in both stories, however, in both of the stories the punishments are believed to be significantly detrimental to the sinners since they torture the sinners and cause them to feel mental pain in the case of No Exit and physical pain (usually) in the case of Dante’s Inferno. An example of this in No Exit is when Garcin said, “ Open the door! Open, blast you! I’ll endure anything, your red hot tongs and prongs and garrotes- all your fiendish gadgets, everything that burns and flays and tears- I’ll put up with any torture you impose” (Sartre 41) . In this quote, Garcin states that he would go through any physical torture if it means that he would be liberated of his mental agony caused by listening to Inez and Estelle’s arguments. It is very clear that the agony put upon Garcin in Sartre’s version of hell is very damaging to him and causes him Mental pain that is so great he states that he would rather be subject to any degree of physical pain to escape his mental agony. The way Garcin’s punishment reflects the Shakespeare quote is that in Garcin’s perspective, he believes that his punishment is bad in the sense that is damaging to him, but in reality it is simply Garcin’s belief that since his punishment is detrimental to him it is therefore undoubtedly bad when in truth it is Garcin who designates his punishment as bad as a result of his thinking from his own …show more content…
These two types of punishment are completely different and since the physical torture inflicted by the punishments in Dante’s Inferno is not as a result of one’s interpretation of a situation through their own thinking like in No Exit. One may argue that the physical punishments imposed on the sinners is unarguably bad since the punishments are physically tortuous because they act upon pain receptors and the torture is therefore inescapable unlike in No Exit where the mental agony of the situation can be heightened or lessened based on one’s perspective of the situation through their own thinking. An example of what one may consider undeniable torture in Dante’s Inferno is the punishment of the Grafters is stated in Canto XX1, “Here the Grafters are sunk into boiling pitch and are guarded by demons who tear them to pieces with claws and grappling hooks if they catch them above the surface of the pitch” (Alighieri 182). It is clear that the grafters are feeling physical pain and because of that one may argue that their situation is inherently bad because their torture is not an effect of their own thinking through their own perspective. Another person may argue that since some may find the torture inflicted upon the sinners in Dante’s inferno to be positive in the sense that it is just and fair, the perspective of

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