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Shannon Burger Literature of the Western World Christianity in The Inferno In The Inferno Dante Alighieri gives his audience a clear vivid presentation of what he as a follower of the Christian religion perceives to be hell Dante shows that human sin is punishable in various degrees of severity and that this is dependent on the nature of ones sinful actions He sets forth what could very well be the most fully developed Christian understanding of justice on earth and that is that what we do as human beings will determine what happens to us in the event of death based on Gods judgment In writing his poem Dante uses symbolism allegorism and imagery among other literary effects to place his poem analogically to life as it was during his day and age Dante structures The Inferno around thirty four cantos Each of these cantos marks a steady progression from the mildest to the worst of sins The cantos depict sinners under various forms of punishment which are commensurate to the nature of their sins Dante categorizes sin into three different categories of fraud incontinence and violence In canto I he mentions three animals namely a leopard a lion and a she-wolf These animals act as symbolisms for the various types of sins The sins depicted in canto XVIII are symbolized by the she-wolf which acts as a symbol for the sins of fraud The sins of fraud are placed the furthest from God in the deepest pits of hell near Satan In canto XVIII Dante and his guide Virgil find themselves in the eighth circle called the Malebolge It is in the Malebolge that each of the kinds of simple fraud are punished in the concentric ditches In the first ditch Dante sees two files of naked sinners each running in opposite direction whipped by demons These sinners are the panderers and the seducers Dante recognizes Venedico Caccianemico a man he once
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