Violence in Dante's Inferno and Ovid's Metamorphoses

1996 WordsApr 30, 20148 Pages
Wright 1 1960 words Julian E. Wright Dr. Sharon Fulton Literature Humanities/Essay 1 27 February 2014 Violence in Dante’s Inferno and Ovid’s Metamorphoses Scenes of great violence, as the prompt says, are often written into dynamic narratives of great literary merit. From Dante Alighieri’s Inferno to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the inclusion of violence as a literary technique is used to propel the narrative forward, all while adding action, intrigue, and engaging the reader. Despite it’s validity as a literary technique, the inclusion of violent scenes in literature serve much more than the simple purpose of pushing a plot along a set of structured points. Scenes of violence provoke thought in areas ranging from human nature to the nature of…show more content…
(XXIII, 61­65)” As this is a subtle form of a violent attack on their bodies, Dante creates this Wright 3 1960 words consequence as a method to show the sinners what it feels like to be deceived as they did to the world in their lives. There is one sinner, however, that suffers more than the others. Caiaphas, who was a high priest in his life on Earth, is violently crucified to the ground as a symbol for betraying the church in hypocrisy. The way he is crucified forces him to lay on the ground directly in the path of the other robed sinners, in a manner so that they are forced to walk on him whilst donning their heavy robes. The subtle violence of the consequences contrived to see the effects of hypocrisy that the sinners caused to their friends, family and strangers was ultimately done unto themselves. Seeing the pain they caused other people causes great pain to the sinners physically as well as emotionally. Throughout the Inferno there are numerous examples of violence and brutality, presenting Dante’s purpose with clarity and precision. The violence is placed in the poem specifically for reason, to show that the souls that are in Hell are there for a good reason. It also shows that the worse the sin was, the worse the sinner’s punishment would be, causing them the pain that they caused the world through different ways of violence. Some of these are physical and others mental violence. However, most of the

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