Dante's Inferno is one of the best written works of all time because it was written as an
allegory inside an excellent story. A key part of this allegory was how Dante used
different guardians in the various circles of hell. These guardians were used to symbolize
the punishments of the sinners.
Minos is the guardian of Circle II, the circle of the Lustful. He symbolizes an accusing
personality because his job is to give punishments to the sinners. The bodies of the sinners
confess the sins automatically, and that shows the sinners know everything about
themselves when it is too late to repent. Minos is important because he is used to stress
that none of the sinners can doubt which sins they have committed, and that the crime will
receive a matching punishment. The lustful were carried away by their passions in their
previous lives, and therefore they are thrown about by a black wind.
Dante considers lust
to be the highest sin because it is mutually committed to the pleasure of both parties.
Cerberus is the guardian of Circle III, the circle of the Gluttons. Cerberus is meant to
portray the image of uncontrolled appetite. In mythology, he was known to devour
people who approached hell, and therefore is a glutton himself. However, being a glutton,
he must surrender himself to his appetite. His appetite just overtakes him when Dante
throws dirt in Cerberus' mouth, and the poets are allowed to enter the circle. Cerberus is
an example of how everything must submit to the glutton's appetite, including his soul.
This is a dark sin because they now worship food instead of God, and this is reciprocated
by the rain, which belies the jolly nature of gluttons and gives them dark temperaments.
Gluttony is a sin which involves...