Divine Comedy - Sin and Judgment in Dante's Inferno Essay

2151 Words 9 Pages
Dante's Concept of Sin and Judgment in The Inferno

Infidelity, murder, betrayal, and conspiracy all play an integral part in the story of the relationship between Jason and Medea. Jason is guilty of all four acts and Medea involves herself in three. Yet, perhaps, in the eyes of Dante, Medea might fall further into the realm of Dis than Jason. But, should she? And, is Dante's view of Jason and his sentence in Hell appropriate?

From Dante's perspective, crimes of passion or desire are the least abhorrent and consequently deserve minimal punishment in comparison to what he believes are the more serious offenses. These sinners, the carnal, the gluttonous, the hoarders and wasters, along with the wrathful and
…show more content…
Violence without consideration, striking out at another in anger, frustration, hatred or selfish ambition is inherent in the nature of these actions. Accordingly Dante interprets them as being less detrimental to one's being than crimes of thought and meditation.

In Dante's view the next circle of sin consists of acts of fraud. He classifies these sinners as seducers and panderers, flatterers, simoniacs, fortune tellers, grafters, hypocrites, thieves, evil counselors, sowers of discord, and counterfeiters or falsifiers. These are the souls who in life betrayed the confidence of another. They preyed on other people solely for gain and knowingly deceived without concern for their victims' psyche or physical being.

Yet Dante does not stop here. He further complicates fraud by adding the realm of compound fraud. Souls found in this circle of Hell did not betray just a stranger or acguaintance, but rather twisted the confidence of someone who loved and/or respected them. They defiled their own kin or country. They either took advantage of guests or of a host, perhaps within his own home. And, falling closest to the pit of Hell (and Lucifer) are those souls who betray the confidence of their lord or benefactor. All these unfortunate shadows of life are those who consciously sought to gain by lying to or by committing an act of treachery against someone who holds a special place in their life; someone who, in some way, they are
Open Document