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Word Count: 734
During the Middle Ages the church was a powerful institution It had its own government courts system of taxation and laws To live a good Christian life guaranteed access to heaven in the afterlife and a life of sin was to be sentenced to hell Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet who had an admirable depth of spiritual vision and was known for his intelligence Encarta 1 Between the years of 1308 and 1321 Dante wrote the epic poem The Divine Comedy which described a journey through the afterlife It takes place during the three days of Good Friday when Jesus died and on Easter Sunday when he rose body and soul to heaven It is a moral comedy and was written to make readers evaluate their own morals The journey was to show readers what could happen if they live a sinful life or if they live a godlike life In the middle of the journey of our life I came to my senses in a dark forest for I had lost the straight path Ah How hard a thing it is to tell what this wild and rough and difficult wood was which in thought renews my fear Alighieri 1 This passage tells us that Dante is lost in the middle of the woods and he is in the middle of his life The reason he gives for being lost is that he had become inattentive and was not paying attention to where he was going This symbolizes how he has lost his quest for salvation His laziness a sin caused him to stray from the road of salvation He cant go back the way he came because that is the way of sin He is lost As he realizes this he knows he needs to go experience the seven sacraments to cleanse himself of his sins Only then will he join God in Paradise rather then spend eternity in Inferno
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