Books and Movies Reviews

Dante’s Inferno

It is an accepted fact within many schools of thought that, Dante’s
Inferno is a groundbreaking work that set a standard for its genre and also
demonstrated many new visual and psychological concepts about the after
life.Yet, it is also clear that the Inferno is a product of its time and
must be judged within the context of it. Within the work there are
countless demonstrations of both conformity and departure from the
classical Christian moral and ethical view upon sin and punishment but one
of the most striking conformities is with regard to the idea of divine
right, in the sense that politics were guided and backed by God.
“First he must descend through Hell (The Recognition of Sin), then he
must ascend through Purgatory (The Renunciation of Sin), and only then
may he reach the pinnacle of joy …” (Dante, Ciardi 3)
Dante’s Inferno is clearly an example, on a grand scale of the thoughts and
standards of his time, as well as a culmination of the classical ideals
associated with philosophy, sometimes conforming to Christian ideals but
often departing from it.In many ways the work can be seen as one of the
first applications of what we like to think of as the renaissance work of
reinterpretation of Greco-Roman Philosophy, a genre that in Dante’s time,
much of which was only recently accepted by the Roman Catholic Church as
being anything other than the heathen words of the pagans.
Within the front matter of the Ciardi translation of Purgatory, a
previous beloved book of the Divine Comedy, there is a clear demonstration
of the roots of Dante’s quest. Seeing corruption abound within the church,
he wondered how any man could even dream to reach salvation:
What hope was there that men in general might be persuaded to a just
life in this world and salvation in the next when they saw their
spiritual leaders behave in such a way’ Surely …