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Dante 's Inferno And Shakespeare 's King Essay

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Human beings too often avert their eyes from suffering. We choose to avoid the afflictions of ourselves and others in an attempt to deny the necessary evils within humanity. By not confronting the truths surrounding the worst in us, however, we become ignorant of a vital and possibly beneficial aspect of human nature. Both Dante’s Inferno and Shakespeare’s King Lear seek to bring attention to human suffering, illustrating our griefs and sorrows as consequences of our own agency. This pain that we inflict upon ourselves, however, can be handled in different ways that further define human suffering; each narrative profoundly explores both approaches, as Dante and Shakespeare portray suffering not only as a method of further inflicting pain to ourselves, but also as an opportunity to learn from misfortune.
When we suffer as humans, we are given the opportunity to learn from those unfortunate experiences – in this way, suffering serves as a form of admonition. When we reject that opportunity, we become prisoners of our own stubbornness – in this way, suffering resembles lament. The lamentation of suffering can be seen in both the Inferno and King Lear as a way of facilitating grief on those who refuse to learn from their mistakes. In the Inferno, Dante the Pilgrim is forced to traverse through the circles of Hell in order to discover the darkest aspects of humanity. While the sinners in Hell create an atmosphere of abundant torment, few are shown to willingly intensify their
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