The Divine Comedy: Dante
The character of Dante in The Divine Comedy who descended into the
inferno caused me to stop and think about this awful place. As the reader I got
to take an imaginary journey with Dante to a horrible place where I do not care
about going. While Dante descended into hell I plan on ascending into heaven
someday. Dante had a choice to make whether or not to get back on the right
path. It came down to heaven or hell – choose.
I think it was willed for Dante to see this place while he was still
living. By seeing hell while he was alive Dante could be sure and make the
right choices to find his way back to the straight path. Being on the right
path in his lifetime would ensure he would not spend eternity in such a
miserable place. I believe the whole purpose of this journey into hell was to
let Dante see the anguish there and choose. Perhaps this was a divine warning.
In Canto 2, Beatrice, the symbol of Divine Love, an angelic spirit was sent to
help aid Dante from his error and help him return back. This is purely love
and compassion at its best. Sending someone into hell to rescue another person
out of there. Great lengths were taken to help Dante return back to the
straight way. I do not believe such action was taken if Dante was to end up in
hell all along.
For some reason midway in Dante’s life’s journey he had gone astray and
at this point was searching for answers. I guess hell was as good a place to
start the search as any place. Something for sure had led him astray and Dante
was going to find out what it was. Strange as it may seem Dante did find the
answers he was looking for in hell.
Dante had entered into an awful place full of darkness and evil. Dante
did not realize to return back would not be easy, the Leopard stood blocking him
every turn to keep him from getting back. As a Christian I could relate to this.
I am often so busy (blocked) with life that I forget about the important things
as a Christian I should be doing, like reading the Bible and praying. I make
plans that tomorrow I will pray or read the Bible but something tries to block
me from doing so.
Dante probably never imagined getting off the right path would result in
a visit to such a horrible place. There was weeping, cursing, and fear
surrounded the place. Frightened, Dante continued on, but the souls moaning
and crying out for help never stopped. There was no help in this terrible
place and certainly no hope. I think right about at that point Dante had a
conscious check. He was probably willing at that point to do just about
anything to get out of the inferno. I know I would have done anything to get
out of there and fast. Hell probably made Dante fear judgment and to make the
choice to avoid going there at all cost.
There was a couple aspects that I liked and related to in this piece.
Dante had a vivid imagination. He was very detailed with his vision of hell.
I really liked that. What I related most to was like Dante if I go astray I
can get back, there is hope. The whole scenario made me stop and think about my
choices. I have a free will just like Dante to choose.