Punishment in Dante’s Inferno Essay

985 WordsMay 10, 20094 Pages
Getting What They Deserve: Punishment in Dante’s Inferno Dante’s The Inferno is his own interpretation of the circles of hell. The people that Dante places in hell tried to validate their offenses and have never seen the injustice of their crime or crimes. They were each placed in a specific circle in Hell, Dante has nine circles in his hell. Each circle holds those accountable for that specific crime. Each circle has its own unique and fitting punishment for the crime committed. There are three different main types of offenses; they are incontinence, violence, and fraud. These offenses are divided into Dante’s nine rings of Hell. Each of these rings has a progressively worse punishment, starting with crimes of passion and…show more content…
The wrathful are fighting each other on the surface of the Styx river while the sloths are lying at the bottom of the river doing nothing. The next three rings and sub-rings of Hell are composed of violent crimes against both ones self and others. The sixth ring is reserved for the heretics who are engulfed in flames. This symbolizes the problems that they tried to create by challenging the Christian church and its practices. The seventh ring has three sub-categories consisting of violence against people and property, suicide, and those against god, nature, and order. The sinners that were violent against people and property are punished by being immersed in boiling blood, which is equivalent to the level of violent crimes they committed. The punishment for suicide is being planted and growing as a tree, when a branch is torn off the person feels the equivalent pain of having an arm or leg taken off. This is a fitting punishment because in their life the only relief from suffering was through killing themselves and in hell they live with that agony similarly to the way people on earth are suffering over the deceased. The third and final sub-ring of the seventh circle holds those against god, nature, and order. They are punished by either walking, sitting or lying on flaming sand while hot ashes fall from above. Their position is based on their lack of respect for what they offended. The last ring in this group of violent
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