Dantes Inferno Essay

664 WordsOct 29, 20143 Pages
Dante’s Inferno is a narrative poem, with a rhyme scheme, originally written in Italian. It documents the author’s, Dante, trip through hell, where he learns how hell is organized and the way in which sinners are punished. Dante is guided by the great poet Virgil, who leads him throughout hell. Dante's portrayal of Hell in the Inferno is a masterpiece of visual and allegorical imagery. One of the strongest examples of imagery is in the animals throughout the story. The imagery conveys to the reader to heighten the feeling of suspense, amazement, and appreciation of the work as a whole. At the beginning of the Inferno, Dante quickly experiences the symbolic nature of animals. He is blocked on his path by three beasts; the lion, the she-wolf, and the leopard. These three animals represent the primitive temptations that block the path to God through sin. Throughout the Inferno, Dante repeatedly eludes to primitivity. Dante constantly proclaims the sinners, as well as the punishers, to be animals. Therefore, Dante uses animal imagery to describe the primitive desires we have to sin and to show how, if left uncontrolled, they lead our souls into damnation and turn us away from the path towards God. The first, and most forgivable, type of sin is the lack of self-control over ones actions. Dante describes sins as falling into primitive desires like animals often do. These sins of lust, hunger, and wrath are considered animalistic in nature because they display a failure to use God-given minds to judge their actions. For this reason Dante feels pity for the sinners but ultimately still places them in Hell for failing to use the strength God gave them. In Canto VI the punisher, as well as the punished, are described as “dog-like”. Cerberus who oversees this level of Hell is seen as a dog-like monster because of his voice. The Gluttons who also reside in this level

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