Honors World Lit
4 April 2013
Ulysses In Hell
In Dante’s Inferno, Ulysses, a man known for his skillful word weaving, is sent into eternal damnation in Hell by Dante. In the Odyssey, after the Trojan War ends, Ulysses sails back to Ithaca. In the Inferno, Ulysses recounts the story about how he convinced his men to sail with him past the Pillars of Hercules. It was previously believed that nothing lay behind these pillars, until Ulysses and his men discover the Mountain of Purgatory. As they approach the mountain, a huge storm intercepts the ship and kills the whole crew, including Ulysses. Dante decides to place Ulysses in Hell because he tricked people for his own personal gain and committed many acts of fraud.
In the …show more content…
He also gives up on his own people of Ithaca. The residents of Ithaca are loyal servants of Ulysses, but Ulysses abandons them twice to realize his foolish dreams; once to fight in the Trojan War, and once when he decides to sail on to the Southern Hemisphere as an adventure. Dante also sees his entire journey towards the Mount of Purgatory as reckless. Ulysses attempts to go there without any sort of purification, while Dante is able to ascend the Mountain of Purgatory because God wants him to. Dante is also prejudiced against Ulysses because Dante admires the Trojan people and believes they were destined to rule the Earth. This explains why so much emphasis is placed on how Ulysses’ unfairly defeated the Trojans with dishonorable and fraudulent tactics. Dante admits that Ulysses is a great and powerful man, but he claims that Ulysses abuses his gifts from God and deserves to be in Hell.
During his life, Ulysses, while persuading others to do his bidding for his own gain, also condemned many people to death as a result. When Ulysses led his men beyond the Pillars of Hercules on to the Southern Hemisphere, he along with all of his men end up dying as soon as they see the Mountain of Purgatory (Scott 17). Also, when Ulysses manages to get the Trojan Horse into Troy, he condemns the majority of its population to death by the