Dante's Inferno Analysis

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Intro-Dante Alighieri's narrative poem The Divine Comedy played an effective role in initiating the protestant reformation and revealing to the common person the importance of living a righteous life. In the Divine Comedy's Inferno, Dante and Virgil Journey through the nine fictional levels of Hell. Dante represents the human soul, and Virgil represents human reason. Throughout the journey they discover the punishments the sinners of Hell face eternally, based on their crimes. Each crime has its own symbolic punishment on a different level of Hell. Dante uses the aspects of human soul, reason and sin to display the importance of life and how people should use their time.

Paragraph 1: The character of human soul acting naive and curious causes
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Man's responsibility in life is to choose between living righteously and sinfully, and those in the ante inferno failed to pursue the will of God in their lives, doing what is right. "I saw a banner there upon the mist./ Circling and circling, it seemed to scorn all pause./ So it ran on, and still behind it pressed/ a never-ending rout of souls in pain," (III 49-52). Because man has a responsibility in life to choose to live either a noble life or a sinful life, those who fail to live their lives the way God intended are severely punished. The punishment unique to their crime is severe to display the significance Alighieri sees in choosing right or wrong, and not living life neutrally. Caiaphas sentences Jesus to death on the cross, a hypocritical act and is now being punished. "And then I saw/ a figure crucified upon the ground/ by three great stakes, and I fell still in awe," (XXIII 106-108). In life, Caiaphas choose to act hypocritically, sentencing Jesus to death on a cross, now he is eternally crucified to the ground no longer able to choose. Because Caiaphas lived hypocritically, he now is forced to suffer the consequences symbolic of his crime to show others they must live their lives morally and mean what they

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