Commentary on Dante’s Inferno Cantos essay

After reading Dante Alighieri’s Inferno Cantos, I personally believe that all forms of punishments that the sinners experienced in hell are the most painful and worst punishments anyone could ever receive. I find all of the punishments very amusing and interesting as I could not imagine any human being bearing the sufferings that the sinners were going through.

However, two of the most interesting punishments for me was the one experienced by the sinners in the first ring of the seventh circle of hell and the one experienced by three of the greatest sinners in history, Judas, the betrayer of Christ, and Cassius and Brutus, the betrayers of Julius Ceasar. The sinners inside the first ring of the seventh circle of hell were the ones violent towards others when they were still living. For their sins, they spent an eternity in river of boiling blood.

What particularly caught my interest was that the punishment that the sinners received was symbolic of their violent actions when they were still alive. Violence to towards others often involves inflicting physical pain. In this regard, the boiling blood in the river signified the blood of other people that these violent sinners spilled. This punishment basically meant that since the sinners loved being violent to other people, they were also treated with a similar, although harsher, form of violence.

On the other hand, the punishment of Judas, Cassius and Brutus was that they were chewed on by Lucifer, the angel who went against God and was sent to hell, for an eternity. While they deserved their fates, it is interesting that all these people shared one common sin- betrayal. However, their acts of treachery were not ordinary ones. In fact, when they committed their respective betrayals, they set in motion possibly three of the most important events in human history. For example, Judas’ betrayal is widely believed to be necessary for Jesus to fulfill his promise of salvation, which has made an significant impact on people today.