Written Commentary Essay

1228 words - 5 pages

Throughout history, men and women who have power, have been known to occasionally take part in corrupt activities. For example taking bribes to fulfill aspirations, to meet the expectations of others, and taking bribes to accomplish illegal acts; these are all activities of those who are morally depraved. In Dante Alighieri’s, The Inferno, Dante goes on a journey to find his way back to righteousness and to do that, he must walk through hell so he can learn to accept the deserving punishments for sinners from God. Dante and Virgil come across simonist in hell and Dante speaks out against the Catholic Church in cantos 19. Within cantos 22, Dante and Virgil try to find someone to talk to as ...view middle of the document...

/ In what are you different from the idolator, / saves that he worships one, and you a score” (Alighieri 19. 106-108). The diction of “idolator,” reveals that the church has established money as their god instead of serving the one true God. This quotes challenges readers to evaluate their lives and set themselves apart from the sinners in hell. The metaphoric comparison of gold and silver to gods, emphasizes the role of money in the lives of sinners who were simonist. Gold and silver is compared to gods because it makes readers aware that the Catholic Church is ran by the things of the earth rather than the letting the church be a place of spiritual empowerment and a entity that guides souls to heaven. It shows that when wealth conquers the lives of mankind, it erode their original purpose. In reference to the Catholic Church, this undermines the morals of the Church, from doing the work of God, and leading sinners to Christ.
In Cantos 22 the punishment of sinners emphasize how acts of graft go against the morals of politics and the church. In a conversation with Navarrese, he confirms that he “became a domestic in the service of good King Thibault. There I began to graft, / and I account for it in this hot crevice” (Alighieri 22. 52-54). From this quote Navarrese represents how higher authority uses fraud and deceit to gain what they want and how they take advantage of their positions. Navarrese’s confession to his moral crime shows how the justification for graft can undermine the morals of politics. This causes Dante to look at people who abuse money and power to gain wealth in a negative way. It also changes the view of readers to have a bad outlook on politics because people desire power for the wrong reasons. Leaders should be helping and guiding the people who have chosen then to lead instead of being driven by wealth. As Dante and Virgil roam about the bolgia, a demon “hooked the sinner’s arm and, raking it, ripped off a chunk of meat” (Alighieri 22. 71-72). The horrific imagery of the punishments are created to reprimand the sins of grafting through Dante’s contrapasso punishment. The imagery emphasizes the severity of graft and its connection to corruption. The nature of contrapasso punishment conveys that politics is undermined by corruption because it makes the intentions of well-established people in society vanish. It draws their attention away from their desire to help people and leads officials to commit selfish acts against man...

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