Analysis of The Levels of Dante's Hell

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It is hard to place St. Augustine within just one of the levels of Dante’s hell for his sins were varied and not great. Today many of his sins are ordinary. For example, most people attempt to better their own lives without regard of others. They attempt to increase their standard of living and gain more worldly possessions. They are neither good nor evil but are just trying to make a living and keep up in today’s society.
Before Augustine’s conversion, this was his goal. He was continually searching for “honors, money, (and) marriage” (Confessions, 991). This allows Augustine to be placed in the first area of hell, the Vestibule. It is a place for opportunists such as Augustine was before his conversion. It is a place for the “nearly
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His carnal desires overpowered his soul for the majority of his life. During his lifetime, he had a multitude of mistresses. One of these mistresses he took because he was unable to wait for a little over a year to have sex before being married to his promised wife. She had to reach the legal marrying age of twelve before they could consummate. “I was unable to bear the delay of two years which must pass before I was to get the girl I had asked for in marriage. In fact it was not really marriage that I wanted. I was simply a slave to lust. So I took another woman” (Confessions, 993).
Whether or not Augustine’s soul can be placed in the fourth circle of hell is a tough decision. Since he was an opportunist, part of his life was spent attempting to gain as many riches as possible in search of happiness. This would classify him as a hoarder, but seems insignificant among his other sins.
There does not appear to be a place for Augustine’s soul in either the third, fifth, sixth, or seventh circles of hell for he did not commit any of the offending sins that would place him within one of these realms.
Circle seven is the realm of the thieves. Augustine can be placed here for the petty crimes committed during his adolescent years. This includes the theft of the pears from the pear tree near the vineyard. This crime was committed merely for the pleasure of doing something that was wrong, not for benefit: “I stole things which I already had in plenty and of better quality. Nor

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