The Violence of Dante's Inferno Essay examples

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In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno there is an abundant amount of violence shown in many ways. Literary critics say that violence does not appear in readings for its own sake, which is proven throughout The Inferno. As the levels of Hell increase, the severity of violence does so as well. This violence occurs in many ways, sometimes mentally, sometimes physically and many times both combined. Some people may not enjoy the book for its violence, however, the violence of Dante’s Inferno contributes to the dark theme and mood of the book, showing Alighieri’s meaning even more. In Canto 4, Circle One, there is a great example of mental violence towards the sinners. Virgil explains to Dante the punishment of the Virtuous Pagans in this Canto, “For …show more content…
Physical violence is shown in Canto 13, Circle Seven: Round Two; The Violent Against Themselves. This circle where the suicides reside, making the level known as “The Wood of Suicides”. The souls are turned into trees for the rest of eternity, being denied a human form. These souls are also denied a voice, except through their own blood. The Harpies, a mythological creature, constantly rips and tears at the human-trees. When they do this, they cause the trees to bleed, which in turn allows them to speak. Although they are in tree form, they still feel all of the pain that comes along with the violence of the Harpies. In Dante’s mind, this is showing that no matter how bad life may be, or for whatever other reason, violence against one’s self is a very bad decision which will be paid for later on in Hell. Another sin that Dante believes is not worth it in the end is hypocrisy, which is shown in Canto 23, Circle Eight: Bolgia six. These sinners suffer both physical and mental pain, being forced to wear heavy lead robes all day every day. These robes are a beautiful gold and shiny color on the outside, yet the sinners feel only the weight of them caused by the ugly lead on the inside. Dante does this as a deceiving factor, to show the sinners what it feels like to be deceived as they did to the world in their lives. There is one sinner, however, that suffers more than the others. This

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