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Dantes Inferno and the weakness of human nature.

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Hauna Zaich G period Cantos 1-10 Dante's "Inferno" is full of themes. But the most frequent is that of the weakness of human nature. Dante's descent into his is initially so that Dante can see how he can better live his life, free of weaknesses that may ultimately be his ticket to hell. Through the first ten cantos, Dante portrays how each level of his hell is a manifestation of human weakness and a loss of hope, which ultimately Dante uses to purge and learn from. Dante, himself, is about to fall into the weaknesses of humans, before there is some divine intervention on the part of his love Beatrice, who is in heaven. He is sent on a journey to hell in order for Dante to see, smell, and hear hell. As we see this experience even brings out Dante's weakness' of cowardice, wrath and unworthiness. He is lead by Virgil, who is a representation of intellect. Through Dante's experiences he will purge his sins and experience a hell that will live in my mind forever. Within Canto 1, we see Dante leaving a dark forest. This forest represents all the human vices and corruption, a place similar to hell (canto 1, line 1-5, Alighieri). ...read more.


This place is peaceful but it is full of sadness. The people can talk with one another and they have green fields but they live in a "sightless zone" (canto 4, line 9, Alighieri ). They are lacking the fulfillment of God. They have no hope and live in longing for the greater truths that are achieved by knowing God (canto 4, line 31-32, Alighieri). The people of limbo have a painless and honorable fate. Their fate is contemplative. Now how does this fit their crime? Well they will live eternally in contemplation, like how they lives on earth, because they do not know God and because of that they cannot know hell. It is like there cannot be evil if there was no good. As we descend farther into hell, we meet the lustful, who are whirled around by winds about the circle endlessly (canto 5, line 30-37, Alighieri). They are those who die for love and will never have rest again because of their love. Their weakness is too much of a good thing. But I feel that Dante was partial to love and thus lust is so close to it isn't that far down. ...read more.


He respects the authority of God and of Virgil, by letting Virgil cover his eyes to protect him from the Gorgon (canto 9, line 55-59, Alighieri). He trusts where as the heretics do not. In the tenth canto the angels who left God for Santan show a lack of respect for authority and excessive pride, that momentarily bars the way for Dante and Virgil. Through this first half of the journey we see that as we get farther down to hell, the more choice on has is greatly effecting the way one is put into the realms of hell. What I mean is, that each realm is a weakness that ever human feels in their life. But as on descends further into hell, free will and free choice come into play. One can chose more so to kill someone rather than to elope with someone, as illustrated with Francesca canto tree. Someone who squanders is thinking about only himself, that means he knows what he is doing to others. Someone who did not know Christ or a baptism did now know what he was doing and still lived virtuously. It's all about self control and the control one takes upon in their life. Dante, as we shall see, will change and become the man that Beatrice wanted, and it's all by choice and by rejection of hell and all that the dark forest entails. ...read more.

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