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The Inferno Essay The Inferno translated by John Ciardi is a poem of Dantes immortal drama of a journey through Hell Sensory imagery is established throughout the poem in the course of Virgils attempt to aid Dante through the different symbolic retributions that make up the structure of Hell Virgil is Dantes symbol of all human reason and volunteers to guide him only as far as human reason can go Sensory imagery help create the image of events where Virgil assists Dante He reminds and encourages Dante courage when he weeps from hearing the cries when they arrive in front of the Gate of Hell In Canto IV Dante is awoken by a monstrous clap of thunder initially representing the cry of all damned souls as one from the pit of Hell This event signals to Dante what he is about to face as he journeys along into Hell Dante has second thoughts when he sees Virgils pale face but Virgil reassures him that his face is just pale because he feels pity for those who are below them In the sixth circle they hear a sound as if two continents of air clashed on in a war of winds after dealing with Medusa Virgil called for a heavenly messenger to open the gates of Dis because human reason has its limits The primary example of symbolic retribution is where Dante first hears the terrible noise of unending cries and wails coiled and recoiled on the starless air when he and Virgil enter the Gate of Hell making Dante shed his own soul of tears These cries are from the souls of the Opportunists who are uncommitted neither rebellious against God nor faithful to Satan They are punished by being constantly stung into movement a never-ending rout of souls in pain due to being indecisive in life Dante responds by crying feeling sympathetic for the poor souls because they didnt choose between good
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