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Dante's Inferno

Have any of you read this? I was reading it recently and was amazed how this man's interpretation of hell was so logical. I realize it's a piece of fiction but still had thought and merit. I was particularly impressed with the part where Dante and Virgil wouldn't get through the Gate to the Capital of hell and Virgil prayed and God sent an angel. I cried like a baby. how wonderful to know in the midst of our Hell God sends an angel to open the door for us. I pictured some Arnold Swarztenegger type of angel who confidently walked passed all the annoying demons and pushed the gate open and without a word walked away! In the book the earth trembled and it was dramatic when the angel came down from heaven and made his entrance. I'm guessing that in our hectic lives we focus on the problems demons are giving us and we don't see the angel God sends to help us. That scripture "Peace. Be still" comes to mind as a way to "see".

Answer Question

Asked by admckenzie at 11:36 AM on Jun. 21, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 31 (49,055 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I haven't read it in sooooo long. I think it was my first Brit Lit class : ) I should go and read it again. Nice summer reading; it is hot here, LOL.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 12:03 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • It is a very descriptive work of fiction. I always liked it & even people who have never read it are influenced by it so I am glad I am familiar with such an important work.

    Answer by nysa00 at 12:28 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • I read it years ago- the line I remember best is 'Abandon hope all ye who enter here' (above the entrance to Hell.) There is an online quiz somewhere that tells you what level of Hell you would be in according to Dante's system... I was in limbo but my best friend was way down in the seventh layer of Hell! All in all though, it is a work of fiction and should be viewed as such. But I think it has very much influenced the way people think about Hell throughout the years. It's funny, I have talked about Hell to some who do believe in the concept and some of what they have said is Biblical is, in fact, Dante's Inferno and they don't even realize it.

    Answer by Freela at 12:47 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • Or is it "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"? That sounds more correct... I dunno, it's been quite a few years!

    Answer by Freela at 12:48 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • So, that's how it is. I never realized! Angels do all the work and some imaginary god gets all the credit!!! Dante's Inferno was not the first sci-fi novel written about the nonexistent land of "hell", nor will it be the last and to get all "blessed" over it is kinda DISTURBING!

    Answer by witchqueen at 4:25 PM on Jun. 21, 2009

  • actually this concept came from more then books .. so say Scholars
    The meaning given today to the word “hell” is that portrayed in Dante’s Divine Comedy and Milton’s Paradise Lost, which meaning is completely foreign to the original definition of the word. The idea of a “hell” of fiery torment, however, dates back long before Dante or Milton. The Grolier Universal Encyclopedia (1971, Vol. 9, p. 205)

    Answer by lisarose45 at 4:37 AM on Jun. 22, 2009

  • lisarose45

    Answer by lisarose45 at 4:40 AM on Jun. 22, 2009

  • But looking under “Hell” says: “Hindus and Buddhists regard hell as a place of spiritual cleansing and final restoration. Islamic tradition considers it as a place of everlasting punishment.” The idea of suffering after death is found among the pagan religious teachings of ancient peoples in Babylon and Egypt. Babylonian and Assyrian beliefs depicted the “nether world . . . as a place full of horrors, . . . presided over by gods and demons of great strength and fierceness.” Although ancient Egyptian religious texts do not teach that the burning of any individual victim would go on forever, they do portray the “Other World” as featuring “pits of fire” for “the damned.”
    —The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria, by Morris Jastrow, Jr., 1898, p. 581; The Book of the Dead, with introduction by E. Wallis Budge, 1960, pp. 135, 144, 149, 151, 153, 161, 200.

    Answer by lisarose45 at 4:41 AM on Jun. 22, 2009

  • now as for what the Bible says I find it interesting that it doesn't teach of an Eternally Tormenting Hell....

    Collier’s Encyclopedia (1986, Vol. 12, p. 28) says concerning “Hell”: “First it stands for the Hebrew Sheol of the Old Testament and the Greek Hades of the Septuagint and New Testament. Since Sheol in Old Testament times referred simply to the abode of the dead and suggested no moral distinctions, the word ‘hell,’ as understood today, is not a happy translation.”


    Answer by lisarose45 at 4:43 AM on Jun. 22, 2009

  • Concerning this use of “hell” to translate these original words from the Hebrew and Greek, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (1981, Vol. 2, p. 187) says: “HADES . . . It corresponds to ‘Sheol’ in the O.T. [Old Testament]. In the A.V. of the O.T. [Old Testament] and N.T. [New Testament], it has been unhappily rendered ‘Hell.’”


    Answer by lisarose45 at 4:43 AM on Jun. 22, 2009

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