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Comparing Dante's Inferno and Paradise Lost

Comparing Dante's Inferno and Paradise Lost

The two stories Inferno by Dante and Paradise Lost by Milton were written about the biblical hell and its keeper; Satan. Both of these authors had different views about hell and Satan.

In Paradise Lost, Milton wrote that Satan used to be an angel of God. The devil believed that he was equal to the Lord and he wanted to be greater than him. For this, God banished him to hell. Milton’s physical description of Satan was interesting. Since he used to be an angel he still had wings. His eyes were blazed and he had scaly skin. Satan was also an immense creature; the typical giant. He was 21 feet tall. It is noted that satin had only one head. Milton’s depiction of Satan was this basic structure.

The contrasting view of Satan was written in Dante’s Inferno.

Satan was a very slimy, puss filled demon. He had three heads, which were attached to his body. Inside each of the three mouths were the souls of people. One of the mouths contained Brutus. He was sent to hell for betraying and killing Caesar. Dante viewed being a traitor as a reason for being sent to hell. This was the Satan that Dante envisioned.

There cannot be a devil without hell. Milton’s view of hell entailed many things. Hell was a desolate place in which the banished satin ruled. He chooses to stay because he wanted to be his own sovereign. He notably said, "We can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven Here at least we shall be free here we may reign secure, and, in my choice, to reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." Hell to Milton was a terrain of burning flames. What he also believed was that it was eternally dark despite the flames. It was the worst place imaginable. This was Milton’s view of hell.

Hell in the Inferno was much different. Though Dante also thought that hell was the land where the devil was sent, he believed that it was an endless environment of bitter, frosty cold. Hell in Dante’s eyes was continuous torture and pain inflicted on any soul who entered its gates. This was the contrasting theory that Dante presented.

Both Dante and Milton had beautifully detailed views of Satan himself, and the hell in which he lives....

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Category:   Literature

Length:   2 pages (425 words)

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