Dante's Inferno: Contrapasso Essay

747 WordsNov 21, 20103 Pages
Expect No Mercy What goes around comes around. When sinners reach hell they are forced to experience the counter-suffering of contrapasso. For each sin, Dante gives a specific punishment relating to that sin. Some of these sins include violence towards self, violence towards God, sorcery, and hypocrisy. For the despicable lives they lived on earth, they are doomed to suffer relating consequences for all of eternity. “No green leaves, but rather black in color, no smooth branches, but twisted and entangled, no fruit, but thorns of poison bloomed instead.” (XIII, 4) No longer humans, but trees, they stand in a fruitless wood, being eaten by half-woman, half-bird creatures called…show more content…
But even deeper into hell the sins get worse, as do the punishments. There are things that people are not supposed to see during their lives on earth. The future is one of these things. The first sinners found in the eighth circle of hell attempted to see the future using forbidden means such as black magic. The punishment that these fortune tellers are forced to endure is they walk around forever with their heads twisted facing backwards, only able to look behind them. Their eyes are filled with tears so anything that they could see is completely blurred. “You see how he has made his back his chest: because he wished to see too far ahead, he sees behind and walks a backward track.” (XX, 37) These punishments are perfectly fitting to the sins they have committed. These so-called sorcerers spent their lives in the twisted world of magic, so it is only fitting that they are twisted themselves in hell. This is the torture that awaits them in hell, and they’ve earned every bit of it. Deeper into hell there are sinners who twisted the truth, this is where the hypocrites are found. They deceived people during their lives by pretending to have beliefs or virtues that appealed to others. Now they slowly trod around wearing cloaks that look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside they are lined with heavy lead, that weighs the sinners down. “’The orange-gilded cloaks are thick with lead so heavy that it makes us,
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