Dante’s Inferno: Sixth Circle of Hell

Category: Dante Inferno, Hell
Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Dante’s Inferno: Sixth Circle of Hell “Every evil deed despised in Heaven has as its end injustice. Each such end harms someone else through either force or fraud” (Alighieri XI 22-24). In his divine comedy, The Inferno, Dante Alighieri cruises around the different circles of hell. Virgil, a poet and a good friend of Dante’s, becomes Dante’s guide in hell. Trough out the poem, the reader encounters certain moments of tension in which he or she is forced to choose a direction to follow. In Canto XI, Virgil and Dante find themselves in the sixth circle of hell: circle of violence.

Virgil then explains to Dante that there are three inner circles: violence against others, violence against self, and fraud. In the second inner circle, the circle of suicide or violence against self, Virgil and Dante find a deserted forest with twisted weird looking trees. These trees are the people who reside in that circle. Here, the reader is presented with people who have committed suicide because of hardships in their lives. The reader is then presented with the opportunity to either feel sorry and justify their suicide or find their placement in hell a just punishment.

In the second inner circle, violence against self, Dante and Virgil meet one of the residents. His name was Pier Delle Vigne, a former minister of Emperor Frederick II. Pier, then, tells Virgil and Dante that reason why he committed suicide was because envious groups schemed him, turned the Emperor against him, destroyed his reputation, and put him in prison; he was too ashamed and decided to take his life. Dante feels sorry for him, because he too understands the importance of a good reputation.

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At this point the reader is offered the chance to agree with Dante and feel sorry for Pier, or completely disagree. Life is one of the greatest gifts from God, keeping this in mind; suicide would be denying or not appreciating that gift. Everyone in hell is there because in one way or another they denied and committed a sin against God. Regardless of what others did to him, Pier denied God, so one can come to the conclusion that his positioning in hell is just. In the contrary, life or God does not give you more than you can handle. All the alse accusations made against Pier were obviously more than what he could handle, so one could feel sorry for him and justify his suicide. So it is up to the reader to choose one of the two possible opportunities that Dante the poet presents to us. In Dante’s divine comedy, The inferno, the reader is offered with many occasions where he or she is must choose a direction to follow. In the sixth circle of hell, the circle of violence, Virgil explains that there are three inner circles: circle of violence against others, circle of violence against self, and the circle of fraud.

In the second inner circle Dante and Virgil meet Pier Delle Vigne. After listening to his story and explanation onto why he took his life, the reader had the option of agreeing with Dante and feeling sorry for Pier’s justified action or find Pier’s punishment just. Life is a gift of God, so taking one’s life is committing a sin against God; which will make Pier’s punishment just. This conclusion could be made if the reader believes in God.

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Dante’s Inferno: Sixth Circle of Hell. (2018, Feb 25). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/dantes-inferno-sixth-circle-of-hell/

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