In The Inferno, by Dante many of the sinners punishments are questionable to the sins theyve committed. Like Dante, one feels great pity for many of the sinners that exist in all of the levels of Hell. Many of their retributions seem much too severe for some of the sins that just dont seem that dire. Francesca and Paolo di Rimini have no control over the love that develops between the two of them, but are forced to spend eternity in the Second Circle of Hell. The sinners in this area of Hell, the lustful, experience an eternity of torrential rain fall and extremely powerful winds, which toss the souls of these sinners throughout the air. After reading of Lancelot and Guinevere both Francesca and Paolo realize that theyre situation is just like theirs.
Francesca does begin having an affair with her husbands younger, better-looking brother; but how could either of the two resist a feeling like that? Lust, yeah its selfish, and maybe it hurts others but if one doesnt give in to its lustful feelings that they too may get hurt. Her husband takes both theirs, and Hell prevents the two of them from ever experiencing that love, from ever being happy again. After hearing Francescas story Dante faints, but who wouldnt pity her; she did what she did in the name of love. Ulysses, a man who fought for his people, bound in the Eighth Pouch of the Eighth Circle of Hell for going against the Christian morals of his time. Among the others guilty of Spiritual Theft he exists within a flame, with Diomedes; they stole from God, so they were stolen from life.
Their first mistake was a joint effort; their actions in the Trojan War, with the Wooden Horse, which resulted in the fall of Troy and Aeneas founding of the country of Rome. Also, the statue of Pallas from Palladium was believed to have been a sacred statue that Troys existence depending on; theft of this would result in the downfall of Troy, and what do you know Ulysses stole it. Although Ulysses hurt others, he also helped others; if he hadnt done any of theses things, Troy wouldnt have fallen, and Rome wouldnt have been found. Having nothing but a guilty conscience can make a person insane; their intentions were nothing but good for their people, so one understands why they did the things they did. Lastly, Pier della Bigna commits suicide after realizing that he can no longer deal with the terrible life envious people around him have created for him. Trapped in the Second Ring, Seventh Circle of Hell, he is forced to spend eternity as a tree.
The Harpies, a kind of bird, feed on these trees, damaging the leaves and the limbs, causing him to bleed; they cause him endless pain. His punishment for destroying his body is no body at all; hes able to talk only through tears of pain, which are created anything that touches him. His self-destruction was a result of all the pain rumors caused for him in his own life, but yet he must live in Hell with constant pain as a reminder of what he did. He tried to leave the pain on earth, but instead was punished with an eternity of pain and more destruction—now how is that fair, how do you not feel compassion for a man like that?Many of the sinners deserve these horrible punishments, but then as Dante comes across the less serious offenses or the offenses that were just intended to help the sinners one feels compassion for the pain that they must endure for eternity. Whether it is an uncontrollable feeling of pain or love, or a yearning for some one or to do something good for some one a serious penalty like the ones that many of these characters tolerate shouldnt be so extreme.
Many times pity is felt because one knows that lust, envy, fear to go on, or a desire to help others is something that he knows he wouldnt be able to resist.Bibliography: