The Condemnation Of Society In Dante's Inferno By Dante Alighieri

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In every functioning society, there exists a set of societal values and ethics that the majority will adhere to. However, these set of values often differ in different eras, locations, and cultures. In the epic poem, Dante’s Inferno written by Dante Alighieri, there are glaring examples of the condemnation of actions and behaviors that would be perceived as socially acceptable today, as well as instances of behaviors that may have been met with some disdain and disapproval during the 1300s, but are stigmatized and shunned even further today. For example, it’s clear that in the era this epic poem was written in, behaviors such as homosexuality and suicide were perceived as taboo, and therefore were placed in the lower circles of hell. While …show more content…
For example, Dante places the sodomites (who were implied to be homosexuals), into the seventh circle of Hell, the circle for the violent, and in the third ring of this circle. While it would be intuitive for sodomy to be classified as an act of lust, Dante’s conscious choice to classify sodomy as an act of violence against nature, rather than an act of lust reveals how rampant homophobic values were. Furthermore, Dante even goes so far as to place sodomy in the bottom circle of the seventh circle, even below homicide, implying that sodomy is a sin even more violent than homicide; the notion that Dante holds on to is that acts of sodomy entail defying the laws of nature to such an extent that acts of homicide aren’t as violent to other people as sodomy is to the laws of nature. Furthermore, the diction and behavior of sodomite, Brunetto Latini also reflects the contempt that Dante had for these sinners. For example, when Dantes asks Brunetto about the most famous men in his company, Brunetto responds, “Priscian moves there along the wearisome/ sadway, and Francesco d’Accorso, and also there,/ if you had any longing for such scum,” (139.) Brunetto referring to sinners alike as “scum” exposes his …show more content…
For example, while gluttony was considered a sin when this epic was written, those guilty of committing this sin are only put in the third circle of Hell, meaning those guilty of suicide or homosexuality were punished harsher than those guilty of gluttony. Furthermore, when Dante meets Ciacco in the third circle, Ciacco introduces himself as, “Ciacco, The Hog:/ gluttony was [his] offense, and for it/ [he] lie here rotting like a swollen log./ Nor [is] [he] lost in this alone:/ all these you see about you in this painful death have wallowed in the same indecencies.’/ [Dante] answered him: ‘Ciacco, your agony/ weighs on my heart and calls my soul to tears;/ but tell me, if you can, what is to be/ for the citizens of that divided state,/ and whether there are honest men among them,/ and for what reasons we are torn by hate” (67.) Ciaccos’s simile stating how he was rotting likes a swollen log provides the reader with insight on the plight Ciacco was experiencing. In response, Dante exclaims how Ciacco’s suffering moved him to tears, showing how sympathetic Dante truly was to him. As Dante progresses lower down into hell, Dante grows more and more apathetic towards the sinners not just because Virgil advises Dante to grow attached to the sinners, but also

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