The Divine Comedy And Dante Alighieri's Inferno

1160 Words 5 Pages
Nowadays, when people hear comedy they think about funny jokes and laughter. However, Dante Alighieri’s Inferno is no such thing. In fact, it is almost the exact opposite. Instead of jokes, there is death. Instead of laughter, there is torture. However, Inferno is part of the Divine Comedy, which ironically, is not comic at all. In the Inferno, the great poet, Virgil, guides Dante through the nine Circles of Hell. He chooses Virgil to guide him because he looks up to Virgil with great respect. Virgil starts by telling him that they must go through the pits of Hell in order to reach heaven. This becomes the main journey in the story. As they walk through Hell, Dante see people that he recognizes from Florence before his was exiled. …show more content…
Souls who lived their life as Gluttonous people were forced into the Third Circle of Hell. Here, there is a putrid stench and it constantly rains. However, the rain is not water, but rather filled with dirt and excrement. There is also a three-headed dog that makes residency in this circle. This monster almost stops Virgil and Dante form passing. In the sixth Canto, a man explains why he landed himself in the Third Circle of Hell. “Your citizens nicknames me Ciacco, The Hog: gluttony was my offense, and for it I lie here rotting like a swollen log.” (Dante). Ciacco turns into one of the characters that gain Dante’s pity. Dan Cryer explains that as more things were published about gluttony religious people became nervous. “Warnings about the dire consequences of gluttony increased with a rise in Christian monasticism and the growing prominence of the idea that the body was to be denied, despised, and mortified. The miserable after-death destiny awaiting those who overindulged was reflected in art. In Inferno, Dante made them shiver in the snow, kept away from shelter by the terrible three-headed dog Cerberus.” (Cryer). Christians know that gluttony is a sin, and with the help of Inferno, they make sure they do not commit …show more content…
Here, souls are either covered in mud or they are completely consumed in the muddy river Styx. Souls not in the river are covered in mud and live eternity striking at each other. These were people who were angry during their lifetime. Souls who are submerged are the ones who were always sad. In Canto eight Dante says, “Sullen were we in the air made sweet by the Sun; in the folory of his shining our hearts poured a bitter smoke….sullen we lie forever in this ditch. This litany they gargle in their throats as if they sang, but lacked the words and pitch.” (Dante). These people were sullen and bitter during their lifetime, so they are forced to spend the rest of eternity in the Styx. Susan Colón explains Dante’s reasoning behind the Fifth Circle of Hell. “Dante sees sullenness as repressed anger-wrath that does not find an outlet in overt violence yet seethes unabated. Dante 's sullen souls are fixed in the slime of the swamp of Styx, lying under the surface of the mud, and they are only known by a gurgle in their throats that bubbles to the surface (Colón). The bitter souls never found an outlet while they were living on Earth so now they are forced to live without the option of an outlet. The only sound they are capable of making is a murmur from their throats. Dante uses the muddy river Styx to explain the dangers of repressing

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