The Question of Justice in Dante's 'The Inferno' and Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'

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The Question of Justice in Dante's The Inferno and Shakespeare's The Tempest Dante Alighieri lived in the 13th- and 14th centuries Florence, Italy, and wrote his famous comedy The Inferno in response to the political and social events of his environment. William Shakespeare lived in late 16th and early 17th centuries and his play The Tempest is a critical commentary on the problems facing England at the time. Despite the fact that the two authors lived in different societies at different times, both authors comment on their surrounding environment in a similar way. The authors imagine a world where actual events and problems of the society are addressed in an allegorical manner. However, Dante and Shakespeare show that they have different motives and goals in their work. Dante's purpose is to inflict divine punishment on the sinners and his personal enemies. His punishments are based on the teachings of Christian doctrine. In contrast, Shakespeare comments on the complexity of justice and human hypocrisy. While Dante's comedy culminates in God's punishment on the sinners, Shakespeare's play ends with a moral on forgiveness and reconciliation. The two stories can be briefly summarized as follows. In The Inferno, Dante is in search of his love Beatrice. He is guided by Virgil, a famous Roman poet, and goes through the different levels of Hell where he witnesses sinners and his adversaries receiving punishment proportionate to the sinners they had committed. The persons

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