Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’:  Part one – Inferno

By: Jalalaisa Geleto

Image taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Comedy

‘The Divine Comedy’ is one of the greatest Christian arts ever made. The poem was started in 1308 and was completed in 1320. It was written by Dante Alighieri. It shows what the Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestants believe what the after life is.

‘The Divine Comedy’ is written in three parts. Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Heaven). Dante goes through the multiple levels of these realms to find his love in Heaven.

The first part of the story is Inferno. There are nine levels of Hell:

The first level is Limbo. This isn’t a heavenly place, but it isn’t the worst of Hell. This is where the unbaptized and virtuous pagans go to. In actual theology, there are many areas in limbo unlike in Dante’s where it’s just one realm.

The second circle of Hell is Lust. Those who are lustful and adulterers will suffer the many punishments for the different types of lustful sin they have committed. Famous historical figures in that circle are Cleopatra and Helena of Troy. Also, a lot of adulterous Italian politicians. This will be a theme throughout the entire story. Dante depicts all of his dead political opponents being in the many levels of Hell.

The third level Hell is for the sins of Gluttony. Those who over consume and spend so much on material things instead of God are sentenced to this level. Many politicians and upper class are sent to this level in Dante’s story.

The fourth level Hell is for the sin of Greed. These are for the bankers, greedy, and overly materialistic. One of their punishments is to forever bicker over money doomed to eternal mental anguish and anger.

The fifth level of Hell is for the sin of Wrath. Those who are forever angry and wrathful towards others are sentenced to this level of Hell. One of their many punishments is to forever fight in terrible battles with each other.

The sixth level of Hell is for the sin of Heresy. Any heretical Christians go to this level of Hell. Basically, if it doesn’t line up with what the original Church fathers said, and is against all of the holy text, it is heresy and you’re going to Hell.

The seventh level of Hell is for the sin of Violence. There are three different levels, or parts, to this level for the different types of violence you can commit. The first part is for violence against people and their property. The second part for people who commit violence for themselves (suicide). The third part is for blasphemers and sodomites.

The eighth level of Hell is for the sin of Fraud. This level is obviously occupied by the fraudulent. This level is divided in ten parts and Dante sees all sorts of punishment for the different types of fraudulent things one can do in life.

The ninth level of Hell is for the sin of Treachery. This level is occupied by the first treacherous being, Satan himself, according to Dante. Satan is both being tortured and touring others. This part of Hell is frozen because Satan is always flapping his massive wings. Everyone in this level is frozen except for three people: Brutus (friend who betrayed Caesar for the Republic), Cassius (another friend of Caesar for the same reasons), and the worst of them all, Judas (the man who betrayed Lord Christ). They are forever being chewed and eaten alive by Satan’s three heads. Doomed to be regenerated and eaten forever.

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