Dante's Inferno vs. Milton's Paradise Lost

901 Words Feb 18th, 2011 4 Pages
Dante 's Inferno Vs. Milton 's Paradise Lost

The two stories, Inferno by Dante and Paradise Lost by Milton, were written about the biblical hell and its keeper: Satan. Both of these authors had different views about the hell and Satan.

In Paradis Lost, Milton wrote that Satan used to be an angel of God. The devil believed that he was equal to the Lord and he wanted to be greater than him. For this, God banished him to hell. Milton 's physical description of Satan is interesting. Since he used to be an angel, he still had wings, his eyes were blazed and he had a scaly skin. Satan was also an immense creature; the usual giant, 21 feet tall. It is noted that Satan had only one head, but Milton 's depiction of him was this basic
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Both Dante and Milton had wonderful detailed views of Satan himself, and the hell in which he lives. These two views in their on light were descriptive and captivating but different. The two authors had differenciated opinions and it was clearly evident in their literature.

In Dante 's divine comedy, there are countless references to all forms of sins and the punishments of those who committed them. Dante goes into great detail when describing these sins and their consequences. Each punishment is perfectly fitting to the crime itself, so that the sinner desereves exactly what he is facing. Dante 's work teaches the reader that sin is to be despised, and yet simultaneously weaves his own symbolism and meaning into his book.

The Inferno is a book that can be read over and over because of how dense and complicated each canto is. Therefore, I will analyze one very specific canto which is widely known and loved and which caught my own attention. My analysis will be on Canto V, which takes place in the second circle of Hell.

Starting off with the first three lines in Canto V, Dante creates the image of how hell is shaped. He says, “…It encloses a smaller space, but so much more suffering that it goads the souls to shriek”. From this we can conclude that the first enclosure of Hell is Limbo and that each successive enclosure or circle gets smaller and smaller creating a funnel-like shape. Yet, while the circles get smaller
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