Punishments In Dante's Inferno Essay

793 words - 4 pages

Dante Alighieri's The Inferno is a poem written in first person that tells a story of Dante’s journey through the nine circles of Hell after he strays from the rightful path. Each circle of Hell contains sinners who have committed different sins during their lifetime and are punished based on the severity of their sins. When taking into the beliefs and moral teachings of the Catholic Church into consideration, these punishments seem especially unfair and extreme.
Souls residing in Purgatory receive punishments despite the fact that this level is not considered part of Hell. As Dante and his guide, Virgil, enter Ante-Inferno (also known as Purgatory), Virgil explains to him that this is ...view middle of the document...

/ Some lived before the Christian faith, so that / They did not worship God aright” (IV. 25-30). The first circle is covered in thick fog where they cannot see God and have no chance of getting into Heaven, which, although it may not cause any physical harm, is still a punishment in itself. However, because Limbo is not an official doctrine of the Catholic Church, it would not make sense to include it in the circles of Hell in the first place, much less punish the souls kept there for something they had no control over.
There are sinners stuck in lower levels of Hell that suffer harsher punishment than those that have committed what the Catholic Church considers to be the worst of all sins. The Bible states that the most unforgivable sin that a person can commit is to defy God: “’Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come’” (Mat....

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