Dantes Inferno Essay

1019 WordsMay 1, 20145 Pages
A Spiritual Journey: Dante’s Journal to the Underworld Some experiences in life change a person. In Dante’s Inferno, Dante Alighieri, the pilgrim, travels through the nine circles of Hell to reach spiritual righteousness. Through this, his worldview changes from compassionate to callous and indignant of sinners. However, despite this change, Dante retains his sense of humanity. His quest for enlightenment is revealed through symbols that reflect his perspective. In fact, the allegory itself is a symbol for the human quest to find spiritual salvation (Dante's Inferno: Themes, 2). Although Dante does stray into the “dark wood”, he does warn against following along a circuitous path. Hence, Dante’s journey is a quest for spiritual consciousness that reminds Christians not to deviate from the path of righteousness. Dante’s worldview most certainly changes in Inferno. At the beginning, Dante is is disoriented. “In the middle of the journey of our life, I found myself again in a dark wood, that the straight way was utterly lost” (Lawall and Maynard 1836). He admits to having gone astray and needs Virgil to help guide him through hell, back to the light of God . At his point, Dante’s worldview about the nature of sin is very naïve. He doesn't not know the depravity of sin and his views are strongly influenced by empathy (Dante's Inferno: Themes, 4) Dante must descend into the darkest parts of Hell, and truly know sin, in order to regain the brilliance of God’s grace. At the start of his journey, Dante is sympathetic to the sinners in Limbo. He relates to them partly because they are great poets like him and partly because they strong merits in life. Regardless, these souls were punished for their lack of faith; they exist without hope and great longing. “Great sorrow seized my heart on hearing him, for I had seen some estimable men among

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