Inferno Research Paper

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Inferno Research Paper Anthony K. Cassell stated in his critical essay titled “Farinata” that “the methods of punishment in Dante’s Hell are exquisitely diverse.” The cantos in Inferno are focused on Circles or subdivisions of Hell that describe specific punishments for the suffering souls based upon the sin they committed. The deeper into Hell, the worse the sins that were committed, therefore the agonies of the punishments are greater. In Inferno, Dante brings the issue of sin into light by giving instances of sins he has taken note of. He places the guilty souls at different levels of Hell, depending on which crimes he believes are the worst to commit, showing “how Dante portrayed his understanding of God’s justice” (Cassell).…show more content…
Pope Nicholas says he is guilty of simony, so Dante does not pity him. Dante tells him to “stay stuck there, for you are rightly punished” (XIX.97). This is when Dante first begins to realize that God’s justice is present is Hell. He then speaks out against all corrupt churchmen, and claims if he were not restrained, he would use even harsher words. Dante then becomes amazed, if not pleasured, with some of the punishments. In the Circle containing Thieves, Dante watches in amazement as a serpent bites a sinner between the shoulders, causing the soul to instantly catch fire, burn up, and then rise from the ashes to return to the pit of the serpents. In the First Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell, called Caina, named after Cain who killed his brother Abel in Genesis, those who betrayed their kin are punished. The souls must stand in ice frozen up to their heads. Dante witnesses twins frozen face to face, butting their heads against each other in rage. Dante accidentally kicks Bocca degli Abati in the face, then leans down to apologize. Once he recognizes this soul, he tears out his hair before leaving him in the ice. With the constant rebuking from Virgil, Dante has learned to not pity the damned souls. He learns to reconcile his sympathy for the suffering with the harsh violence of divine justice as he begins to see that the punishments fit the crimes committed. In Canto VI of Inferno, the Third Circle of Hell rains filth and excrement, and
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