Dante's Divine Comedy - Good and Evil in The Inferno Essay

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Lessons of Good and Evil in The Inferno

In The Inferno, Dante explores the ideas of Good and Evil. He expands on the possibilities of life and death, and he makes clear that consequences follow actions. Like a small generator moving a small wheel, Dante uses a single character to move through the entire of Hell's eternity. Yet, like a clock, that small wheel is pivotal in turning many, many others. This single character, Dante himself, reveals the most important abstract meaning in himself: A message to man; a warning about mankind's destiny. Through his adventures, Dante is able to reveal many global concepts of good and evil in humanity.

Dante represents mankind's potential. He falls to the temptations of this world,
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And in so doing, we also are running from the only possible way to gain that Joy: The reason and faith that have the power to guide us.

Why do we not enter into Hell ourselves and conquer our fears? Upon the gates of Hell rest the warning which drives us back towards the Mount every time we think to turn back: "Abandon all hope ye who enter here." At the foot of the Mount of Joy rest the three Beasts, of our own creation, which drive us back into the Woods. We're stuck between a very big rock and a very hard place. Eventually some do abandon all hope and enter into Hell... never to return. It is with reason and faith alone that we can enter into Hell and be guided to a safe return.

Reason, logic, and pure thought are the compasses of humanity. Unfortunately, today no one even bothers to look at the compass or to ask for directions. The lack of logic and reason in our everyday decisions leads to the larger scale chaos that results from apathetic actions. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, as in Dante's case, we have slipped from our guide of Reason and shown pity to people, like Francesca and Paolo, who fall to carnal lusts, or to those like in the Wood of the Suicides. Like Dante, we are only too eager to hear their stories and report back to those above, still in the Dark Wood, of their fate. We feel as though the punishment which God, in His great Wisdom, has dealt out for them were unfair. And we fear for our own

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