Essay about Dauntes Inferno

Submitted By Madison-Mroz
Words: 2012
Pages: 9

Madison Mroz
Term Paper
Prof. B
05/02/15

The True Meaning of Dante´s Inferno

Religious people always fear that they will not make it to Heaven or the place their God resides. The bible and other religious text give advice on how to avoid the pain of Hell. Dante Alighieri, a famous Italian poet, wrote about the physical description of Hell and the punishments each sinner would receive for their sins. Although The Divine Comedy chronicles Dante's journey from the depths of Hell to the glory of Heaven it contains a deeper meaning. Dante reveals the true meaning of the Inferno through his leading motif, his interactions between the sinners, and the intertwining of other literary works into the Inferno. The repeated motif of the number three is used to represent the Holy Trinity and all things holy. The first evidence of the number three comes not from the story but from the The Divine Comedy itself and the stanzas of the poem. The Holy Trinity is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three entities are compiled to form God, the creator of all things. Just as God is composed of three things the epic poem The Divine Comedy and the stanzas of the poem are also composed of three things. The Divine Comedy is composed of three books titled the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. The stanzas in each cantos are composed of three lines. The books of The Divine Comedy and the stanzas of the epic poem have similarities between the Holy Trinity and thus God. At the beginning of his journey Dante encounters three beasts. The first beast he meets is a leopard, the second a lion, and the third a she-wolf. These three beasts represent the three categories of sin presented by Dante in the Inferno. The she-wolf represents self-indulgence. The female gender of the canis species has the reputation of being promiscuous. Promiscuity leads people to believe that the person cares little for others but instead indulges in their own wishes and desires. This indulgent type of behavior is seen in the sinners in the second through sixth circle of hell. The lion represents the sin of violence. Dante describes the lion as approaching with a ravenous hunger. Even the air was afraid of the lion. Dante choose the lion to represent violence because they are known as the kings of the jungle. Their powerful legs and long teeth allow them to quickly take down and kill their prey. Male lions contain pride that causes them to violently fight to remain the head of their pack. This violent behavior can be found in the seventh layer of hell where the tyrants, killers, and war hungry sinners reside. The leopard represents malice. Dante choose the leopard because they may be the smallest of the four big cats (tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard) it still has the capability to take down prey up to twice its size. The leopard also is an equal opportunity killer. They will hunt down any prey for food. Some have even been known to attack people on occasion. This type of malicious behavior can be found on the 8th and 9th circles of hell. These two circles of hell contain the worst sinners known to man. Soon after his encounter with the three beasts Dante meets the spirit of his idol a poet named Virgil. It is h ere that we see another three. Virgil informs him that three women sent him to be Dante's guide. As his guide Virgil leads Dante through the nine circles of hell often with the words that they were sent from heaven. Virgil reveals that it was a woman named Beatrice who sent him to guide Dante through hell. It was first the Virgin Mary who alerts St. Lucia, the foe of every cruelty (canto 34 L100), to Dante's plight. St. Lucia then alerts Beatrice, Dante's deceased love. These three women represent Heavens eternal influence over hell. These three divine women were able to arrange Dante's passage through hell from heaven. The power that heaven has over hell is also demonstrated when Virgil tells some of the demons they are sent by a high…