The Inferno by Dante is a story of a mans voyages through the treacherous depths of hell. Dante is a man who has strayed from the path of a catholic way of life. Now he needs to travel through hell to reach the virtuous path that will take him to heaven. He is guided through hell by a man who is in limbo, the first circle of hell, named Virgil. Virgil takes him through hell and shows him people suffering for the sins that they have committed. Together they travel through the nine different stages of hell observing who is in each stage, what there punishment is, and what sins they committed to get there.
Virgil was sent to guide Dante through hell by Beatrice who is the love of Dante's life. Beatrice plays a major role in the story because it is love that helps give Virgil the strength to travel through hell and return to the path that will unite the two in the afterlife. The thesis of this book is the different paths people take and were they lead. It shows different people and the poor decisions they made in choosing to sin and how it has effected there eternal fate in the afterlife. Dante's trip through the different rings of hell shows him how the severity of people sins influences the intensity of there punishment in hell. The first place that Dante visited was the first circle of hell, limbo, there were people there who were pagans like Virgil and other who "were born without the light of Christ's revelation" (Ciardi 49).
These people severest punishment is having to deal with the fact they will be stuck there forever and will not be able to reach heaven. As Dante travels deeper into the pit of hell he finds much more horrific places which climaxes in the fourth ring of the ninth circle, Jude cca the lowest part, of hell were people go who betrayed their benefactors. These people spend eternity completely submerged in ice. These people "lie completely sealed in ice, twisted and distorted into every conceivable posture" (Ciardi 282).
This journey gives a description to the reader a severity of the punishment for sins. Judging by the character in the story Dante is a god fearing man who has moral issues in his life. He seem to be in a constant fight with himself about the right way he should live his life. By the end of the story Dante gives the impression that he a is strong believer in the theory of "you reap what you sow". By the end of the story Dante gives you the impression that he does not feel pity for sinners being punished because he looks at it as a form of divine intervention. Dante Gives off a obvious bias in the story that he is a Christian.
One way he shows that is that fact that the story is a journey through hell which shows a obvious relationship to the bible. Another clue that he has a Christian bias is the he believes that people in limbo "were born without the light of Christ's revelation" (Ciardi 49). This show that he obviously believes in Jesus Christ. Another way that he leads the reader to believe he is Christian is when he describes the sixth ring of the eighth circle. He describes one of the people there as Caiaphas who was " the High Preis t of the Jews who counseled the Pharisees to crucify Jesus". All of these events support Dante's belief in Christianity.
This Book is a primary source written in first person because it is like a diary of the authors trip through hell. Dante takes the reader through the depths of hell exactly how he sees through his eyes and passionately describes it to them. This story tells you a lot about the time period that Dante lived in. Dante has so much respect and fear of god. This provides evidence that at the time the church was a very powerful entity. One other thing that is very interesting is the sin that was considered the greatest sin is betrayal.
For these people who betrayed people the whole ninth circle was dedicated to them and Lucifer. The writing style of Dante is very creative, descriptive and passionate. His description of hell was so amazing due to the amount of creativity he uses. The way he organizes hell is so that the more severe the sin that you commit the deeper in hell you end up and at the deepest part is half frozen Lucifer. The passion and description used in his writing is demonstrated by all of the adjectives he uses to make the reader feel like he is there traveling with Dante and Virgil. A excerpt out of the book that demonstrates all three of these is: She was born with seven heads, and ten enormous and shining horns strengthened and made her glad as long as love and virtue pleased her house (Ciardi 170) In this piece you can see his creativity by how this creature is so much unlike anything you have ever seen before.
You can see how descriptive his writing is by the way he describes her physical features. You can see his passion by the way he describes how love and virtue made her glad.