Dante Alighieri, the author of the poem, lived in medieval Italy when the imaginative view on the world and afterlife as promoted by the Western Church had integrated into society. The author introduced the poem’s message, which is the depiction of sin, virtue, and theology, to reflect the Catholic view of what happens after a person dies (Dante, 2017). Dante’s adventure through dark woods and later translation to the Mountain of Purgatory and to celestial spheres represent a soul’s travel to God.
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Each of the parts of the poem represents the specific phase of a soul’s adventure. In Inferno, Dante is led by Virgil through the dark woods, which are a symbolical depiction of sins. The central conflict in this stage is that Dante wants to find a way out of this gloomy place. In other words, the character is searching for a way to salvation. To succeed, the hero must pay for committed sins according to the type of wrongdoings. Before reaching paradise, Dante meets with Satan, and the latter’s representation is based on Christian theology.
It is evident that the poem can be considered a religious narrative delivered in an unusual form. In the end, after passing all hardships and surviving the meeting with the devil, Dante sees stars, which represent God’s divine. The author’s primary purpose was to illustrate Christianity’s vision of what happens after a person dies and what challenges await for committed sins. Also, the narrative reinforces the idea of a chance for salvation (Dante, 2017). In other words, despite all mistakes a person makes in their life, they have an opportunity to meet with God and deserve a place in the halls of Heaven.
Dante, A. (2017). The divine comedy. Aegitas.