Finding Morality and Unity with God in Dante's Inferno Essay
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Finding Morality and Unity with God in Dante's Inferno
Throughout the fast-paced lives of people, we are constantly making choices that shape who we are, as well as the world around us; however, one often debates the manner in which one should come to correct moral decisions, and achieve a virtuous existence. Dante has an uncanny ability to represent with such precision, the trials of the everyman’s soul to achieve morality and find unity with God, while setting forth the beauty, humor, and horror of human life. Dante immediately links his own personal experience to that of all of humanity, as he proclaims, “Midway along the journey of our life / I woke to find myself in a dark wood, / for I had wandered off from the straight path”…show more content…
However, the illusiveness of the idea of Dante feeling pity toward the transgressors is delineated as Dante proceeds into the more brutal levels of hell. Virgil must remind Dante that “In this place piety lives when pity is dead / for who could be more wicked than that man / who tries to bend divine will to his own” (XX. 28). As the magnitude of the sins increase, Dante condemns the sinners, and the pity he feels for them lessens. Virgil suggests with no demur, that sin should be despised wholeheartedly, and one should not pity the justice meted out to sinners. To pity their suffering demonstrates a lack of understanding. Dante tries to attain the capacity to transcend his own limitations and reach a new level of self-knowledge, as he has gone astray from the right path to God. This moral journey through foul darkness opens Dante’s eyes to how evil works in our lives and helps him to begin to understand what is truly good.
The notions of sin and falsity verses truth and virtue are barefaced and transparent. Naturally, anyone is fully capable of discerning right from wrong and knows what is morally right, but faces his greatest problem in willing to do so. A major struggle in the poem is that of one’s obedience to God’s will. God’s will is universal and supremely powerful. Humankind, by exercising free will, will fashion either a rewarding or punishing justice upon themselves. At the stage in Dante’s earthly