English Literature » Notes » God’s Divine Justice in Dante’s “Inferno”
Divine Comedy-God's Divine Justice in The Inferno

God’s Divine Justice in Dante’s “Inferno”

Alternate question: Discuss Divine Justice in Dante’s Inferno.

Midway through the journey of our life, I found
myself in a dark wood, for I had strayed
from the straight pathway to this tangled ground.

These famous lines are from Dante Alighieri’s Inferno which signify the themes of religion and personal salvation in the poem. Often when someone embarks on a journey of self-discovery, they travel to places which could astound one by their strangeness. When is he is expecting to see straightforward and acceptable things, he is suddenly presented with exceptions. Just as such self-examiners might encounter their inner demons, so does Dante Alighieri, as he sets out to walk through his Inferno, both as a character and a writer.

The image of being lost in “dark woods” sets up a clear contrast between the supposed unenlightened ignorance that one endures due to a lack of faith in God and the clear radiance provided by God’s love. Dante uses contrasting symbols to indicate the character’s challenge. The “dark woods” symbolizes Dante’s fear, yet the “right road” symbolizes his confidence in God, ultimately revealing that Dante’s journey is to find the presence of God in a sinful world. However, the journey upon which Dante is embarking is not solely his, but rather that of every human being.

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