Inferno — by Dante

Title: Inferno
Dante Alighieri
Johann Numeister and Evangelista Angelini da Trevi (original).

“Because your question searches for deep meaning, I shall explain in simple words” ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno.

The Divine Comedy is an epic story by the Italian poet, writer and philosopher Dante Alighieri, born in 1265 in Florence, Italy. He died in 1321 in Ravena, Papa States. In this book review, I discuss the story portrayed about the soul’s journey after death. The process it has to make, and the divine judgment it has to go through.

I am not going to make a super deep analysis of this beautiful piece because I don’t think I have enough knowledge. What I would like to talk about are the following topics of the first part of the story, Inferno. Let’s begin!

The Path to Heaven

In real life, Dante was in exile from Florence, and this poem is the reflection of his journey, from hell to purgatory, to finally, heaven (the name of the three poems of the Divine Comedy).He had to earn his way in, he had to purify his soul, a topic which I find interesting. Let me elaborate. Why do we always assume we deserve the gold without any effort? Without any fight?

I am not saying that sometimes things do not come easily (nor, I am saying this is the topic of the poem, it is way deeper than this), but why are we not grateful enough to acknowledge the pain and suffering people go through to reach a goal?

Dante’s Hell

Another point to make is that in the poem, hell has nine circles (or levels), and each one of them represents a specific sin, and from the first one to the last one goes like this:

  1. Limbo: Where we can find unbaptised and virtuous pagans, too close, and too far from heaven. (You might say this is quite unfair, but we must remember this was years ago, and reality was different).
  2. Lust: The place for lustful and adulterous ones.
  3. Gluttony: Exactly what the name implies.
  4. Greed: The “material” people, where they fight over money.
  5. Anger: Souls full of anger and resentment.
  6. Heresy: We must remember when it was written, and the power of religious ideas.
  7. Violence: Towards others and ourselves, violence towards the body, the soul carrier.
  8. Fraud: People taking advantage of others.
  9. Treachery: To betray others, which is different from fraud, let me explain.

In the last circle, we can find the greatest traitors (we find Satan chewing Judas Iscariot, Marcus Junius Brutus, and Gaius Cassius Longinus). Why?

Because to betray someone, one must create a bond, build trust, a “bridge” (as we would say), and then burn it like it’s nothing, like everything was fake, and that we never actually cared about the other person. And for Dante (even for me) this disloyalty is the worst sin and offence we can commit against someone.


The Divine Comedy is part of history, and one of the greatest works of world literature. And this article should be an offence because of how simple and superficial it seems. But hopefully, by reading it, I would encourage people to dig more, to get deeper into Dante’s story, into Dante’s Inferno.

And if it wasn’t enough, the next quotes from Inferno will make you ask for more:

  • Do not be afraid; our fate. Cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.”
  • In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within dark woods where the straight way was lost.”
  • They yearn for what they fear for.”
  • There is no greater sorrow than to recall our times of joy in wretchedness.”
  • The poets leave hell and again behold the stars.”
Agustin Cardone

Agustin Cardone, from Argentina, currently lives in Ireland, and studies psychology in Mexico. He fell in love with sports when he started playing rugby at 14, soon becoming team captain. He now lifts weights and practices boxing as a way to release stress. He is highly interested in the relationship between body and mind, and is curious about how the brain works and why people do what they do. He would like to help people with addiction, depression, and personality disorders. He believes we all have a story to tell and that we should express it.

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