Inferno: God's Will in Dante's Hell

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Maren Kreid Dr. Lewis - HNRS104 30 September, 2014 God’s Will In Hell Inferno, originally written by Dante Alighieri and part one of three in the Divine Comedy, is Dante’s representation of Hell and what he believes it to be. Despite the stereotype of Hell being ruled and controlled by Satan, Hell is actually under the complete and total force of God’s Will. Illustrated in the actions of Virgil, the angel at the gates of the City of Dis, and Satan himself, it is clear that God is the ultimate ruler in Hell. When Dante the Pilgrim enters Hell, he is joined by one of his writing idols, Virgil. He is told that he must make it all the way through Hell and out in no more than three days. In his journey, he encounters every level of Hell, all the sinners there, and their respective masters. In order to begin their trek, Dante and his shade must cross the river Acheron. Charon, the guard, doesn’t want to let Dante in because he is still alive and doesn’t belong there. In response to Charon’s denial, Virgil declares, “Charon, this is no time for anger! It is so willed, there where the power is for what is willed; that’s all you need to know.” (p. 92, l. 94-96). At this, Charon takes them across the river. As the two begin crossing into the second level, Minos, the guardian of the level, stops them. Yet again, Virgil announces, “Do not attempt to stop his fated journey, it is so willed there where the power is for what is willed; that’s all you need to know.” (p. 110, l. 22-24). Virgil’s words set show that just the simple exclamation of God’s Will made the demons bow to Dante’s fated journey; they could not act against it once it was announced. Later on, after Dante and Virgil had traveled all the way up to the eighth circle, the two encountered Geryon, guardian of the next level,

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