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Word Count: 1,193
CRUEL PUNISHMENTS OF SINNERS IN THE RAGING INFERNO Dante Alighieri was born in Florence Italy in 1265 In his life he composed two major books of poetry Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy The Vita Nuova is composed of love poems sonnets and lyrics The Divine Comedy is an epic poem segmented into three books each of which recounts Dantes travels through hell purgatory and heaven The first section of The Divine Comedy Dantes Inferno is a narrative with a man named Virgil as his guide Dante narrates his descent and observation of hell through the various circles One part of this tale is his descriptions of the various punishments that each of the different sinners has received The various punishments that Dante envisions the sinners receiving are broken down into two categories The first category is borrowed from various forms of medieval torture and the second type though less physically strenuous are Dantes creative and imaginative punishment for sins The torturous forms of punishments create physical and bodily pain for the sinners and are designed to be interpreted literally whereas the creative punishments are used to inflict a mental and psychological pain and are suppose to be thought of on a more metaphorical plane of thought However the creative punishments can inflict both a mental and physical pain upon the sinner An example of this is the penalty the simonists those who use their power in the church to acquire money pay There are two descriptions of tortures which are very similar to the punishment of the simonists The first one included a man to be chained down to a bare bed with his feet hanging off of the end and then his feet would then be seared by a charcoal brazier The second torture that is similar is the
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