Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Dante In 1265 Dante is born around May twenty-ninth. In 1283 Dante's father dies and Dante marries Gemma Donati, with which he has four children. 1300 in the supposed date of the journey of "The Divine Comedy." 1306 is believed to be the year Dante begins writing the comedy, in 1314 Inferno is published.

"The Divine Comedy," is divided into 3 sections: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Each one of these sections is divided into 33 cantos (except Inferno, which has 34 cantos), which are written in tercets (groups of 3 lines). The number 3 in Dante's time was significant because it was considered holy, since the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost make up the Trinity.

"Inferno," tells of Dante's trek through hell led by the greatest of the medieval poets, Virgil. In "Inferno" Dante describes the nine circles of hell.

1st Circle: The Virtuous or Un-Baptized Those who died before the birth of Christ or without being baptized but were basically good people.

They are not punished. They merely stay where they are, unhurt, but unable to see God.

2nd Circle: The Lustful Their punishment is to be whirled around forever in a gale.

Paolo and Francesca (a married woman) were lovers while they lived.

Their punishment is to be stuck together forever in the act of making love without satisfaction, their sinful pleasure in life is now their torture.

3rd Circle: Gluttons The sinners here wallow in the mud while a constant downpour of rain sleet and snow falls on them.

4th Circle: Spendthrifts These people are the ones who wasted their money in life on useless things. Their punishment is to roll large stones, clashing in head on collisions with the Avaricious who are trying to go the opposite direction.

Avaricious These people are...