The character of Dante in The Divine Comedy who descended into the inferno
caused me to stop and think about this awful place. As the reader I got to take an
imaginary journey with Dante to a horrible place where I do not care about going. While
Dante descended into hell I plan on ascending into heaven someday. Dante had a choice
to make whether or not to get back on the right path. It came down to heaven or hell -
choose.

I think it was willed for Dante to see this place while he was still living. By
seeing hell while he was alive Dante could be sure and make the right choices to find his
way back to the straight path. Being on the right path in his lifetime would ensure he
would not spend eternity in such a miserable place. I believe the whole purpose of this
journey into hell was to let Dante see the anguish there and choose. Perhaps this was a
divine warning. In Canto 2, Beatrice, the symbol of Divine Love, an angelic spirit was
sent to help aid Dante from his error and help him return back. This is purely love and
compassion at its best. Sending someone into hell to rescue another person out of there.
Great lengths were taken to help Dante return back to the straight way. I do not believe
such action was taken if Dante was to end up in hell all along.

For some reason midway in Dante\'s life\'s journey he had gone astray and at this
point was searching for answers. I guess hell was as good a place to start the search as
any place. Something for sure had led him astray and Dante was going to find out what
it was. Strange as it may seem Dante did find the answers he was looking for in hell.

Dante had entered into an awful place full of darkness and evil. Dante did not
realize to return back would not be easy, the Leopard stood blocking him every turn to
keep him from getting back. As a Christian I could relate to this. I am often so busy
(blocked) with life that I forget about the important things as a Christian I should be
doing, like reading the Bible and praying. I make plans that tomorrow I will pray or read
the Bible but something tries to block me from doing so.

Dante probably never imagined getting off the right path would result in a visit to
such a horrible place. There was weeping, cursing, and fear surrounded the place.
Frightened, Dante continued on, but the souls moaning and crying out for help never
stopped. There was no help in this terrible place and certainly no hope. I think right
about at that point Dante had a conscious check. He was probably willing at that point to
do just about anything to get out of the inferno. I know I would have done anything to
get out of there and fast. Hell probably made Dante fear judgment and to make the
choice to avoid going there at all cost.

There was a couple aspects that I liked and related to in this piece. Dante had a
vivid imagination. He was very detailed with his vision of hell. I really liked that. What
I related most to was like Dante if I go astray I can get back, there is hope. The whole
scenario made me stop and think about my choices. I have a free will just like Dante to
choose.


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