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The Everyman's Transformation Essay

1024 words - 5 pages

Despite having the grandiose honor of being the main character of The Inferno, Dante is still a normal human being. He is lead by his mentor, Virgil, who attempts to guide him through the perils of sin. The ultimate goal is for Dante to hate sin, and he steadily progresses from initially feeling pity to aggressively terrorizing the sinners. This can be seen through his journey from swooning to the Lustful to ripping the scalps of sinners. The Everyman's actions and viewpoints for sin changes as he ventures through Hell with the aid of Human Reason.
Dante was thrust into the grotesque gateways of Hell to come across an initial group of sinners, the Opportunists. They were sent to hell due to ...view middle of the document...

He meets a suffering soul, Ciacco the Hog, and feels extreme pity again. He cries, “'Ciacco, your agony weighs on my heart and calls my soul to tears'” (Alighieri.VI.55-56). Again, baby steps. Dante is forming these pitiful feelings to blanket his way through all of the hatred and turmoil. He has not been introduced to the truly malevolent sins to feel their disgusting aura. Instead, these minor sins are not phasing him, but rather weakening him. Since they are not in the higher circles, this is an understandable viewpoint for Dante. Once he trespasses into the Wrathful territory however, Dante gets a taste of how he can despise sin.
As he makes his way lower and lower, Dante found himself in circle five, the Wrathful. Two groups reside here, the Wrathful and the Sullen. The Wrathful are to forever lash out and yell at each other while the Sullen are submerged in a black mud and are forced to gurgle hymns. Phlegyas is the boat guru here, and as Virgil persuades him to alloy the poets a ride, Filippo Argenti rises from the mud. Dante barks out, “May you weep and wail to all eternity, for I know you, hell-dog, filthy as you are” (Alighieri.VIII.37-38). The enraged Filippo attempts to capsize the boat, but Virgil shoves him off. He then hugs and kisses Dante, admiring his first true demonstration of hating sin. This display of hatred towards Filippo shows Dante's improvement and knowledge of distrusting sin. He has shown a progression, and this is further amplified later when he arrives at the simoniacs.
Dante has made it deeper into Hell as he observes the simoniacs in circle eight, bolgia three. Sinners here are placed upside down with their feet ablaze. Pope Nicholas is placed in this prison and he mistakenly assumes that Dante is Boniface. Dante scoffs at the pope's silly assumption and he furiously tells him about all the wrongdoings he has contributed to...

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