Brent Fairchild Professor Wilkie Humanities 220 4/25/13 Dante’s Inferno Essay The way that Dante portrays Hell in the Inferno is very specific and filled with loads of lots of imagery. The book uses lots of figurative language, while being complimented with the very intricate descriptions of the physical world. The logic of the structure of Hell, as well as the nature of God’s action for placing people there for their crimes, shows Dante’s great imagination. Dante’s work is not anything of philosophy.
The ideas that are presented are an essential part of the structure and vision of the poem and it does not seem plausible to find these as logical concepts of philosophy. Dante’s poem does an incredible job in engaging us in his ideas emotionally. The way that he does this is through his imagination and the pictures that are left in our mind through his reading. The reason that this poem is so widely enjoyed is because of the visions that they bring to us, while also generating feelings through the ideas. Very significant aspects to readings are the geography and the scale, as well as detail, which are created for us.
The dimensions that are brought to us through the moral and spiritual world are extremely important. Essentially, Dante is creating a map for us. This map of the underworld allows us to orient ourselves in relation to our ideas of the underworld. If a person wants to understand a person’s vision, they must attempt to put themselves in the person’s shoes. A writer, such as Dante, understands this and makes it easier for us through his detailed descriptions. What is unique about Dante’s poem is that he is not attempting to create a whole other world for the reader.
He is simply trying to take our understanding of the world and expand on it so that it is still recognizable. Dante’s map is obviously surrounded by the geometrical shape, a circle. This is the general layout of Hell. The circle has no place that it starts, ends, while also being pleasing to the eyes. As the Inferno continues in the reading, there is always a decent. The ground moves to smaller and tighter circle that all have a unified pit which is very clear to all of the readers. The reason for this descent is to reach Purgatory and then Dante will climb from there in more circles so that he can reach Heaven.
The main purpose of this map is so that we can recognize the importance of the organization, morally. Dante makes it clear that the lower one is placed in the circles of Hell, the worse crime that they committed. Brutus and Cassius do not seem nearly as serious as others, but Dante’s map makes it so that they are right there with Satan. The geography of Dante’s world allows us the understand Purgatory as a whole because we always know what is above or below us. The map of Hell that is produced also brings us a moral and political meaning.
The sins that are committed are challenged by Dante’s system by the way murderers are ranked lower than the people that counterfeit and lie. In Canto XI, Virgil takes Dante’s place as the narrator. This allows the logic of the hierarchy to be understood. “ ”My son,” he began, “there are below this wall three smaller circles, each in its degree like those you are about to leave. ” (Canto XI, 16-18) The last part of the poem that makes it most effective is the corruption of the reason for the crime. The emphasis placed on these crimes explains the sinner’s intentions instead of the crimes themselves.
Crimes that are planned are more serious than those that are committed with immediate vengeance. Dante has the idea that sins that are preplanned aren’t as easily forgiven as those that are done just because of spite. Dante’s version of hell is clearly a work of intense imagination and not based on religion or philosophy. The poem, as a whole, does an excellent job of creating a Hell for the reader to relate to and have an image of. Dante’s incorporation of imagination and drama creates an extremely intellectual and descriptive poem. Works Cited Dante, Alighieri, and Mark Musa. Dante’s Inferno. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1971. Print.