Dante's Inferno

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"Midway in the journey of our life I came to myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost" is how Dante begins his distinguished poem the Inferno. Dante's aim is to terrify his readers by describing, in great detail, Hell in his poem. He establishes his ethos, logos, and pathos skillfully, provides powerful diction, tone, language and creative syntax to successfully frighten his readers, and the subject, occasion, audience, purpose, and speaker of the poem are facile to find. Dante, from the very beginning of his poem, demonstrates that the main character in the poem, who is Dante himself, is credible and trustworthy by appealing to ethos. The audience is able to feel sympathy with Dante, the character, because he shows many emotions that the readers would also possess if they were in his position. For instance, Dante feels pity for a small number of the sinners in the poem. That is one of Dante's effective ways of creating connection and trust with the reader. After learning that the first sinners he met are in Hell because they are not baptized, he claims that "...great sadness seized..." his heart (canto IV). The audience can also relate to him because he feels anger towards the sinners who sinned dreadfully. One of those sinners is a pope, who is guilty of simony. Dante shows him no pity, and criticizes him. He asserts "... truly I believe this pleased my leader..." (canto XIX) because the way Dante criticizes the pope was what Virgil, his leader, desired to see. Furthermore, Dante establishes his logos by offering clear, rational ideas. Each group of sinners gets a different type of punishment that is suitable for their sin. Multiple specific details and examples are provided by Dante to support the idea that each group of sinners has to be tortured differently in Hell. For example, in the Second Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell, those
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