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The Features Of Dante's Hell

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Dante built his version of hell utilizing equal measures of Roman Catholic doctrine and his own personal perspective regarding his guilt or sins of the people he positions there. Dante had been involved in a political battle in Florence and in losing it, he had been banished from the city. Aristotle is one character who seemed to be in hell for reasons the Catholic church of that time would approve. One character who seemed to be in hell simply because Dante was getting even was Filippo Argenti.

Despite the fact that Dante includes certain people he adores and respects in his hell, the real agony is saved for those people of Dante’s time who wronged him, thus including corrupt leaders of the church and citizens of Florence.To begin with, Dante’s hell had an interesting aspect because he did not have a grudge against everyone; some were absolutely respectable and commendable figures, whose only slip up in Dante’s mind is that they did not live their life according to his faith. Most of these people found themselves in the first level of hell called Limbo, Limbo has green fields and a castle with seven walls surrounded by a small stream representing the seven virtues (restraint, prudence, courage, justice, hope, faith, and love) and the people living there can never go to heaven.

These souls, “whose merit lights their way even in hell,“ include the five great poets and philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates (IV, 74-75). The spiritual beings live without torment while the atmosphere is calm, yet sad, the hell that they live in lets them reside in human astuteness, but without the luminescence of God. One character who seemed to be in hell for reasons the Catholic church of that time would approve is Aristotle. Aristotle is one of the greatest philosophers known to man who resided in Limbo among other famous authors, philosophers, non-Christians, unbaptized pagans, and others unqualified to set foot in the kingdom of heaven. The phrase “the master of those who know” was enough to pinpoint Aristotle as the one that other well-known famous people in Limbo including Homer, Caesar, and Socrates look with honor. Henceforth, Dante broadens his voicing of criticism to the residents of Florence who he felt mistreated him or the White Party.

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One who seemed to be in hell simply because Dante was getting even was Filippo Argenteni; the harsh treatment of Filippo was payback for earlier offenses when Filippo slapped Dante in the face, and for Filippo’s brother taking possession of Dante’s confiscated property after the poet had been banished from Florence. Filippo Argenti was a Black Guelph and cruel rival to Dante whose family members were political opponents, they also opposed Dante’s return to Florence. Filippo resided in the fifth circle of hell, where the River Styx runs through and in it are troubled the wrathful and the gloomy. The wrathful are people who live their life feeling belligerence and aggressiveness whilst being confined and asphyxiated in the marshes and dark swamps of the River Styx. They are forever fighting each other out of anger in the swamp, pushing one another down into the filth gasping for air because they lived a vindictive and fateful life they must meet their fate in the Styx remaining helplessly raging for eternity.

Dante recognizes Filippo when he reaches the fifth level of hell and berates him and wishes him even more torment, this clearly showed Dante’s feelings towards Filippo the only person in hell without strong ties to the church that Dante despises so much. It pleases Dante when he sees Filippo “mangled by a swarm of muddy wraiths’ (VIII, 56). In essence, without a doubt, Dante was infuriated by his banishment from Florence and I understand why that angered him. Dante was a very loyal member of the White Party which tried to take stand against the corrupt papacy, so I can see where all the fuel came from to make Dante lash out the way he did. He used a religious forum to make strong political statements, revealing the dishonest and immoral of those who hurt him, the Guelph family, the state of Florence, and the White Party.

Dante’s hell was structured selfishly, those who tormented his country and political party was deeply hated by him and thus translates to great torment in hell. To enumerate reputability to his work he puts dreadful historical figures such as Aristotle in a free of torment gentle round of hell while men who were corrupt within the church or in regard to Florence like Filippo Argenti do not escape brutal sanction.

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The Features Of Dante’s Hell. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 26, 2022, from
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