The Just Punishments in Dante’s Inferno

1041 WordsDec 15, 20085 Pages
The Just Punishments in Dante’s Inferno Inferno, written by Dante in the early fourteenth century, is a poem about Dante’s, the main characters, journey through Hell and signifies the nature of sin on Earth and punishment in Hell (Gardner et al online). Those who sinned while on Earth are justly condemned to different levels of punishments in Hell, relative to their sins on Earth. Each of the nine circles of Hell represents a worse sin, and therefore, a crueler punishment. The categorized punishments in Hell that Dante Alighieri assigns are symbolically fair and representative of the sins committed on Earth, given the time period and Christian values context from which this poem was written. The first inhabitants, just outside of…show more content…
Those who act upon their lustful desires do not care about anything preventing their actions, just as a raging storm does not care what it destroys in its path. The seventh circle of Hell is inhabited by the violent. Those who were physically violent towards others while on Earth are justly sentenced to an eternity of being submerged in boiling blood. "The river of blood - in which boils everyone. Whose violence hurt others" (Inferno XII 41-42) describes the perfect punishment for those who were violent towards others. Each of these souls is subjected to a different level of agony; those who killed one person stand only with their legs in the boiling blood, however, tyrants, like Alexander, are completely submerged. These individuals are now eternally submerged in the blood that they lusted after and shed during life. The boiling blood, which they are depressed in, is also representative of their blood while on Earth, simmering with rage and passion when they committed their violent sin. The endless torment of being immersed in a ghastly pool of heated blood is a just punishment for those who commit the crime of violence and murder. The torments that sinners are subjected to in Inferno may seem extreme to some modern readers, given the liberal advances in society's views of moral norms. However, given the time period and religious context from which this poem was

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