Dante’s Ideas of Good & Evil

February 19, 2021 by Essay Writer

Opinions about Justice

Dante believed that justice was capital and proportionate to the injustice. He believed that the nature of the crime also affected the nature of the punishment. Along with this he alluded to crimes against God being more severe than crimes against others. This is evidenced when looking at the souls in circle six verses people in circle three. When he interacts with Ciacco in circle two whose sin was gluttony, Ciacco was surrounded by raining garbage and had worms decomposing it around his feet. While the people in circle six, whose sin was heresy were locked in burning tombs.

Views on Christianity and its Hell

Dante and his character seem to have two different viewpoints on whether Christianity is just or not. Dante the author tends to write as if he not only agrees this view, but supports it. He demonstrates the layers of hell as just. He may have disagreed with the idea that all sinners go to the same equally terrible hell as was the common belief, but he agrees with the narrative he is writing. The character however seems to be struggling with the idea and hasn’t made up his mind. On one hand he believes that people must be punished, but on the other he seems to pity the sufferers and wants them to have a way of escape. Both do seem to have a little bit of reservation that may be from their own fear of ending up in this place, no matter what level.

Views on Reasons for Entering Hell

The author strongly supports the idea that choices lead to fate. He shows that all punishments are equal to the sins committed and that the choices are what lead them there. Ex. people that were gluttons chose to be gluttons and are therefore in a place in which their sins are paid for.

Equality or Inequality of Good and Evil

Dante demonstrates the idea that justice is the most powerful force in existence, but with the way that he writes he implies that Good has the upper hand in the influence of justice which leads the reader to believe that he saw Good as the stronger force. This is not the case. Evil was a force that was done for a short time in the lives of the souls in hell, but the punishment to justify that was eternal.

This showed that Evil had to be eternally punished, and good was eternally rewarded, but if one did not devote themselves to God, Evil would be the stronger of the two forces. While if one did devote themselves to God, Good would be. One might say that Evil was the stronger force, but if you look deeply into the context of the writing, they were equal. Evil took more souls and showed it’s power there, but Good was strong enough to steal away some souls from the grasp of Evil as evidenced when souls from the first circle were raised to heaven. This shows that the powers are different, but equal.

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