Saturday, October 17, 2015
Historical Figures in Hell
I found it interesting that Dante specifically put certain historical figures in Hell, and had a specific places that he felt were suitable for all of them. For example, the poets are in Limbo and their only punishment is that they will never be able to feel the presence of God. Filippo Argentinni, on the other hand, is in the fifth circle, which contains the wrathful and slothful. His punishment is getting torn appart by the other wrathful for eternity (obviously much worse). This is because Dante admires the poets (and thinks of himself as one of them) and despises Filippo. Although it doesn't have much of an effect on the readers today, at the time this was first written the readers would have probably been shocked by those Dante chose to put in Hell, and possibly even felt pity and fear as they would have had more of a personal connection with these people. I feel like this would have changed peoples perspective about Hell drastically for this time period because this was not only the first description of Hell itself, but a description of specific people who you could compare yourself to and wonder whether your sins would bring you to hell like theirs did.