Divine Comedy Summary: Short Description

The Divine comedy is an exceptional work of literature. This poem brings the readers into a new and unparalleled reality, where they meet the main character of the story, Dante Alighieri. In the year 1308, Dante gets lost in a dark wood. Even being a grown-up 35-year-old man, he gets scared and discouraged. Once seeing a mountain near the place he stands, he tries to climb the mountain. He gets caught by three wild animals. The lion, leopard, and she-wolf stay in his way. Once having no chance to pass the animals, he gets back to the woods. There he meets the spirit of Virgil, his late poet-friend, who promises him a new journey. He is about to show him a road through Hell and bring him up to a Paradise. Dante is willing to accept an offer. He goes to the gates of Hell with Virgil.

Divine Comedy Plot

The two poets get into Hell where they see tortured souls. They see souls tormented by insects. The lost souls get multiple bites once staying near the gates of Hell. The proper passage to Hell opens for poets near the river Acheron’s banks. Once getting there, they meet the ferryman, Charon, who helps them to reach the first circle of Hell, the Limbo. The circle holds pagans and those who never were baptized. The Virgil resides in the Limbo everlastingly. Thus, he takes some time to meet and talk to other poets there, including Horace, Ovid, and Homer. He listens to their stories and tries to understand their life choices.

Circles of The Hell (1 – 6)

The second circle of Hell happens to be the place where the Minos monster resides. The place is full of damned souls sent there due to their sins. There Dante finds two unfaithful lovers Francesca and Paolo. They tell their stories.

The third circle, the Gluttons, is the dark place guarded by Cerberus, which is a domicile of mud and morass. Damned souls who were greedy during their lives suffer there in the mud eternally.

The fourth circle holds the Wasters and the Hoarders, who roll the giant rocks at each other. They do the exact thing every single day, being damned to the familiar time-spending.

The fifth circle of Hell is located on the banks of the river Styx. The Wrathful reside there. They fight every day a new battle attaching one another. Their routine battles start every next new day. They are damned to the exact existence for good.

The sixth circle is the place of Heretics, who suffer in burning tombs. Once talking with two sinners, Dante finds his friend and his enemy both reside there.

Circles of The Hell (7 – 8)

Once doing farther into a deep valley, the poets get closer to the final circle of Hell. On their road, they find the Minotaur and the creepy river full of blood. This is the land of violent people, tyrants, and war-makers.

The Suicides reside in the next part of the seventh circle. The sad souls of people who ended their lives stay there for good. They stay in a deserted wasteland full of snowflakes. Dante finds his beloved scholar and blasphemer there.

The final round of the seventh circle is full of Usurers, Sodomites, and Swearers. They get the punishment for their sins until the end of time.

The eighth circle of Hell holds the Seducers and Panderers. They are lashed by whips every day for eternity. The second part of the circle is full of Flatterers who stay in filths. The Simonists reside in the final part of the circle. Their feet are on fire, and they are embarked upside-down. The fourth part of the circle holds the Mediums and the Fortune Tellers. Their eyes are full of tears, and heads are placed backward. The sinners of Graft get their torment in the boiling pitch.

The Hypocrites reside in the sixth crater. Other craters are full of the Thieves and the Falsifiers. They are walking in circles. The Thieves reside among vipers. Finally, they all are turned into serpents after getting bitten.

Ninth Circle of the Hell

The final ninth circle contains a huge frozen lake with the sinners. The known Cocytus lake holds all the sinners from the fourth rounds. The first round is full of sinners stacked by their necks into the frozen water. The second round keeps souls frozen by their heads. The Traitors reside in the third round. The fourth round is the final and houses the Traitors to Their Masters. They are fully covered in the ice. Satan is waist-deep in the frozen waters. His three heads represent the traitors – Judas, Brutus, and Cassius. The two poets reach the upper world on Easter Sunday and enjoy the stars above their heads.

Dante’s Journey to the Hell

Dante’s story is started on Friday and ended up on Sunday at Easter. This medieval epic poem is aimed at revealing the reals of the spirit world. Hell is described in every possible way. Every circle of Hell is defined and outlined by the writer in the slightest details. The author presents the type of sinners that reside in every particular circle. Moreover, once checking the dialogs of Dante with sinners, the reader gets more information about every sin committed by damned souls. The journey taken by Dante is the way of his personal salvation that ends in an optimistic culmination. Dante wrote his poem once being in exile from his native town of Florence. The Civil war has not let the author staying in his hometown for long.

Divine Comedy Analysis

This famous Italian poem includes three volumes – Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Heaven). The three-piece poem describes Dante’s journey through Hell on his way to Heaven. All the circles of the Hell crossed by the poet on his way to Heaven are outlined in the poem. The reader can find about the sinners that reside in every circle. Also, he meets some characters that make the story more detailed. This is not a traditional tragedy. The Divine Comedy is a real piece of a comedy genre. The genre is so much loved by the author, who appreciates the humorous nature of writing. This comedy reveals the tragedy in its various considerations. It is all started with a disaster and ended up with an optimistic culmination. This is the most distinguishing feature of the comedy genre.

The Main Plot of the Poem

The poem reveals the nine circles of Hell. If defines every one of them and describes the lost souls that reside there. In this story, the author is a central character of the story as well. A lot of speeches in the poem are the real opinions of the author. Once traveling through Hell, he meets a lot of people he has known before and the ones he always wanted to meet. He tends to get to God once skipping the Hell realms. His journey to Heaven is in real his way of salvation.

Journey to Hell Symbolism

On his journey through Hell, Dante meets sinners who were damned to spend their time in hell for their sins. They reside in different circles of Hell due to the exact sins committed during their lives. The sinners pay for their sins by suffering in the way they have sinned before. For instance, the magicians who used the magic to look in the future stay in Hell with their heads agonizingly turned backward for time without end. 

The first circles of Hell hold pagans and those who were not baptized. Other circles hold sinners who commit such crimes like lust, greediness, wrath, and depression. The seventh, eighth, and ninth circles, contain numerous heretics, those who committed violence, liars, and those who betrayed the trust. The final circle is a frozen lake where all the sinners are frozen deep in the water. The bigger sins they have committed, the deeper in the water they are frozen. Satan stays their waist-deep in the frozen waters. His three heads represent the three famous traitors – Judas, Brutus, and Cassius.

H3: Divine Comedy: Final Chapter

The poet Vigil, who is a pagan, never hope to get to Heaven. Thus, from the Purgatory to Heaven, Dante is taken by Beatrice. She remains his guide during the entire trip to Heaven from Purgatory. But, she is also his lost love and muse. She brings salvation to Dante. The Dante admiration for Beatrice is one of the main plots of the Divine comedy. Critics pay huge attention to their connection. The story ends with Dante getting back and enjoying a star-full night sky.