As Dante bit by bit progresses downward through the Inferno, his sensitiveness to transgress Begins to decline ; turning less and less intense until he wholly hardens his bosom to transgress when he reaches Cocytus ( the frozen lake mirrors his frozen bosom ) . During the first few Circles of Hell, nevertheless, Dante allows his emotions free reign, doing him extra heartache, and in some instances, physical torture. During these first important minutes in Hell, Dante all of a sudden realizes the weight of the journey that lies before him-he realizes precisely what it means to “ travel through Hell ” ; he realizes that Hell is non merely a topographic point where agony occurs. Hell was non made for enduring. Hell is enduring ; the thought and the topographic point are one in the same. Admiting this fact, it becomes impossible for Dante to depict his environment without besides depicting the emotions he feels while in it. Even the slightest reference of an environmental characteristic reveals Dante ‘s interior feelings and reaction to his current location in Hell. Conversely, a reference of Dante ‘s emotions will match straight to either one or several environmental traits that finally form the physical barriers he encounters on his journey. This close tie causes each barrier Dante brushs to convey with it equal sums of physical and emotional strain. Hell ‘s environment is inseparable from the agony contained in it, and in order for Dante to acquire the “ full Hell experience ” he must be tried every bit on both foreparts, as the mental torment of Hell is merely every bit of import as the physical incarnation of that torment ( the penalty ) .
The first barrier Dante encounters is the river Acheron. When he reaches the river, Dante feels overwhelmed by what he has merely seen in the Vestibule, he becomes shaken with fright of what is to come, doing him to conk. While it is widely accepted that these are the facts and no deeper analysis is necessary, I will take this chance to turn out my construct of environmental analysis to give a better apprehension of the thought, and to-hopefully-bring to forth new penetration in relation to Dante ‘s reaction to his state of affairs. Just minutes before his faint, Dante notes the crowd of blasted psyches, dentitions clicking in panic, standing nearby expecting transition into Hell, and explains that they continue on their way because “ Divine Justiceaˆ¦spurs them soaˆ¦they yearn for what they fear ” ( III.122-123 ) . Dante places himself among the damned most likely because he excessively feels damned to a destiny he no longer wants, but is-in his mindset-doomed to see. Though he does non wish to be on the really cusp of Hell, he has no pick in the affair. Therefore, it is non hideous to suggest that Dante ‘s confidant cognition of the blasted psyches ‘ inner ideas and emotions came from sing them first-hand. Shortly after these facts about Dante ‘s interior emotional province are revealed ( observe how rapidly the physical universe begins to respond one time Dante ‘s mental province is revealed ) , Hell “ [ shakes ] aˆ¦violently, ” striking panic into Dante ‘s bosom ( III.128 ) . Or does it? The reply is both yes and no ; while the shudder is surely terrorizing, the shudder is used to physically expose Dante ‘s interior panic, and add to his agony ( which had up until this point, been merely in his caput ) . After the shudder, jets of fire shoot up from the “ tear-soaked land, ” and while these cryings may non hold belonged to Dante ( though many likely did ) , it is clear that they represent the strong emotional conflict being fought on those shores both by Dante and the damned ; a conflict that Hell easy wins ( III.130 ) . The combination of the monstrous temblor and Dante ‘s already stressed emotional province reaches its flood tide when it “ [ shatters Dante ‘s ] senses, ” doing him to conk ( III.132 ) .
Merely as the damned are driven towards ageless agony, Dante is willed on through Hell by Divine Love ; he crosses the Acheron against his will, pull of all time closer to that which he fears the most.
This first ordeal sets an interesting case in point for us, and farther supports the theory that whenever possible, balance is sought between the physical and emotional torture of Hell ; when Dante is emotionally weak, Hell responds with a physically strong barrier, and when Dante is physically strong, Hell seeks to weaken his emotions. As with any regulation there are, of class, exclusions. The lone exclusion to this 1, nevertheless, occurs in Limbo where Hell does non seek to torture, simply to learn.
After his “ [ stumble ] into darkness, ” on the beach of Acheron, Dante is awakened by a “ bang of boom, ” that brings him out of the darkness of his head, and into the darkness of Limbo ( III.134, IV.1 ) . While this passage does non ab initio sound good or optimistic, its deductions are immense. While unconscious, Dante is unable to go on his journey. Because of this obvious hindrance, it would look that Dante ‘s unconscious province becomes the following barrier he must confront.
Before we can understand how Dante overcomes the barrier, we must look at the factors that caused it. From anterior analysis we know that Dante felt 1 ) damned to a destiny he did non desire, and 2 ) overwhelmed by Hell to the point of prostration. Because Dante ‘s head was truly merely focused on how much he did non desire to be in Hell, his head subconsciously “ removed ” itself from Hell, pin downing Dante inside his ain head ( a province of “ Limbo ” if I may be permitted to utilize the term ) . It was his head that did non desire to go on, and it is his head that continues to keep him in the dark. While it may look that Dante ‘s consciousness is the issue, what truly affairs is Dante ‘s mentality. Without the proper mentality ( and because of the rational division of Limbo ) , it would non count if Dante was asleep or wake up, he would be in the darkness of Limbo either manner ( I point this out to uncover a form of ambiguity, and to once more back up the desire for “ balance ” ) . As Dante makes his manner through the darkness of Limbo it is besides of import to observe that the darkness represents the ignorance of the evildoers who did non cognize God, and Dante ‘s initial 2nd ideas about his journey. While he walks with Virgil towards the Citadel ( Human Reason, or a better mentality ) , Dante notices that “ sounds of sighing, ” are emitted by practically every dweller of Limbo ( IV.26 ) . These “ suspirations ” show that the citizens of Limbo have given up hope, and they are easy accepting their destiny. Because his environment is filled with slow, gradual credence, it merely stands to ground that Dante is sing something similar to this in his ain head ( which is besides arguably Limbo ) as he grows closer and closer to the Light of Human Reason.
Once he reaches the Citadel, Dante is able to easy traverse the creek that serves as the physical barrier between the ignorant, and “ those who wish to cognize ” . By physically traversing this little and un-daunting barrier, Dante affirms that he has now achieved a proper mentality, and that non merely does he accept his destiny, but he wishes to happen the good in his journey through Hell and turn the experience into a positive. With this barrier overcome and a new end in head, Dante and Virgil set off for Circle 2.
A big job Dante experiences during his clip in Hell is the commiseration he feels for those who have sinned. This extra commiseration hinders Dante ‘s ability to appreciate his journey and merely causes him undue adversity.
During his clip in Circle 2, Dante ‘s emotions get the best of him once more, ensuing in yet another 1 of his “ faints ” . While walking through Circle 2, Dante feels “ swept by commiseration and confusion, ” at both the penalty, and the punished ( V.72 ) . He takes these two dominant emotions and spreads them throughout the Circle ; the twirling air currents stand foring confusion and the self-pitying dwellers truly serve to pump Circle 2 full of bad sentiments and high-pitched whining. While Dante has adjusted to a more positive mind-frame, he is still human, and he still feels commiseration for those who suffer ( particularly when they are in mass measures ) . Compound that fact with the fact that this is technically merely the 2nd penalty he has seen in Hell, everyone ‘s narrative is a melodrama, etc. and it merely makes sense that one time he got about to Paolo and Francesca, Paolo ‘s “ [ hapless ] , ” crying pushed him over the border. That being said, by this clip in the Comedy, Dante has “ swooned ” twice-both times overpowering commiseration was involved. Each of Dante ‘s faints marks a passage in his thought procedure ; the first changes his mentality so he can break header with Hell, the 2nd helps him better header with wickedness. Once he begins to indurate his bosom to transgress, it becomes harder and harder to tie in Dante ‘s emotions with his environment ( with the exclusion of Cocytus ) . When this occurs, Dante is able to “ outwit ” the system, maintain himself in control, and demo us all how to travel through Hell with grace, poise, and a bit on the shoulder.