Hell And Limbo In Dante's Inferno

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In the “Inferno” by Dante Alighieri, our author descends into the depths of Hell, all the while led by the poet Virgil. Acting as guide, Virgil keeps Dante on the correct path, and also shows Dante the intricacies of Hell as well as some historical context for the way things are. Virgil knows a great deal about Hell and Limbo because he actually resides there. Since Limbo is only the very top portion of Hell one may assume that in orders of magnitude Limbo is the least severe out of all the circles of Hell. However, Limbo is the exception to this rule of thumb.
Upon entering, Dante becomes frightened by a sudden complexion change in Virgil. Virgil clears up Dante’s misunderstanding: The anguish of the people Whose place is here below,
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Virgil senses this upon arrival because he knows the area all too well, for it is his home. Virgil has experienced first hand the “anguish” felt by those who reside in Limbo which makes him an authority on the severity of the realm. Virgil claims the so called “fear” Dante perceives on Virgil's face is actually “compassion” that he feels for the afflicted. However, Virgil is accustomed to the pain of Limbo which makes it seem odd that he is suddenly affected by the space. Virgil reacts as such because he does not believe that he or anyone else in Limbo is necessarily a bad person. In fact, the majority of those in Limbo are there because they were caught on a technicality; either they “lacked baptism . . . [or} they lived before Christianity” (Alighieri, 4.35-37). Both of these faults are primarily caused by an outside source and not the one who faces punishment. A significant portion of those who “lacked baptism” never received it because either they died as a child before it could have been administered, or their parents were not religious and did not instill an importance of the sacraments in them. Those who “lived before Christianity”, did not stand a chance and frankly can not be blamed for not believing in something that had yet to exist. Due to the triviality of why people are sent to Limbo, Virgil is able to sympathize with them. Virgil knows that it is unfair that he and