If you know someone who is religious, it is very likely that they are in some denomination of Christianity, like Catholic or Baptist. The basic Christian belief is that God created the Earth and that he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for everyone’s sins. But we’re not here to talk about God or Heaven, but rather the direct opposite: Hell! Or at least the concept thereof. According to Richard Burky of Vision.Org, “The Athanasian Creed…ends with these words: “They that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Hell? Fire? Brimstone? A red-faced man with horns and goat legs holding a trident? Some people might say that Hell is having to live with your parents despite being 30 years old or having your someone drag you to another Justin Beiber concert. There’s even the timeless phrase, “War is Hell" (something I think all war veterans can agree to). Someone else had a more poetic and complex concept of Hell. I’m referring, of course, to Dante Aleghieri, a famous poet from the Italian Rennaisance. In 1320, he published The Divine Comedy, a long, narrative poem that delivers an allegorical vision of the afterlife. It is divided into three sections: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Since I’ve always been fascinated by The Inferno, which is the most famous of the three sections, we’re gonna look into Dante’s concept of Hell.
Dante describes how the damned endure their pain “at grief so deep the tongue must wag in vain; the language of our sense, and memory lacks the vocabulary of such pain.” This keeps to the common idea that in Hell, bad souls endure severe and unending torture for all eternity. While Dante may not have been a painter, he definitely uses his words to “paint a picture” of the various forms of Hell. Dante uses an artistic point of view for the different circles and tortures in Hell. In the Seventh Circle, there are three rings for those who’ve committed violence:
-The Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante Aleghieri
-Hell: Origins of an Idea by Richard Burky and Jeanette B. Anderson of Vision-http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/origin-of-hell/41044.aspx
-Dante's Idea of Hell by Vittorio Montemaggi, Matthew Treherne, and Abi Rowson of the University of Leeds-http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/info/125125/inferno/1732/2_dantes_idea_of_hell
-10 Real People Condemned To Dante's Inferno by Debra Kelly of ListVerse.com-listverse.com/2016/10/18/10-real-people-condemned-to-dantes-inferno/