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Summary of The Book: The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri

Updated on January 17, 2011

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, the author chronicles the journey of three places: the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise. In each of these scenarios, it is mythical characters, famous people for their actions, or acquaintances.

His journey begins when he finds himself lost in a dark jungle. Gives you three animals: the leopard, lion and wolf, which, according to scholars can mean respectively incontinence, violence and fraud. At this point it is rescued by Virgil, Roman poet, who greatly admired Dante. Virgil guides Dante through the paths of Hell and Purgatory, to find Beatrice, the muse of the author.

Before entering into Hell itself, there was the lobby, a place where people who were in life found themselves undecided about good and evil, so they had no hope of salvation or death.

The book divides Hell into regions that are called circles. Each circle presents a kind of sin. The more the inner circle, the greater the sin, and therefore with greater severity index.

The first round houses people who have committed no sin worthy of punishment, but did not believe in God. The place called Limbo, and there are characters like Homer, Heraclitus and Self Virgil.

The second circle is what comprises the lustful as Cleopatra, Achilles and Helen. Suffered from being shaken by the wind.

In the third round were punished who committed the sin of gluttony, with sleet and snow. Were dipped in mud.

When Dante and Virgil reach the fourth round are those punished for being greedy or spend too much. There they found priests, clergy, popes and cardinals.

The next round, the fifth, contained punished that bore the sins of hatred and feeling resentful. In this circle were punished souls plunged into the lake, which Dante crossed.

After crossing the lake, reached the gates of the city of Dis (Devil). Were prevented from entering by some demons. But an angel appears and opens the gates.

Then enter the sixth circle. At this site, are the culprits for heresy. They were tortured with fire in their graves.

The seventh circle shows subdivisions. The first subdivision has those guilty of violence against others, who commit sins like murder. The second level is for those who have done worse for himself with, like suicide. The third contained the sinners of blasphemy, which would be violence against God. Soon after came the fourth and fifth subdivision. All areas of the seventh round had terrible punishments. Some characters of this circle are: Attila Lano and Brunetto Latino.

The eighth round opened in chapter eighteen, with origin of sexual sins and ends in chapter thirty with sins of falsification. In this circle can also be observed several other sins such as theft, magic and intrigue. There are ten kinds of sins found in this circle.

The ninth and last circle of Hell, punish the traitors. There are four types of treachery described, that is the worst betrayal of the good. In this place were punished Judas, Brutus and Cassius.

After passing through these places, Dante and Virgil, through the center of the earth and reach the other side. On the other side had a mountain that contained the Purgatory.

In Purgatory were people who committed sins but repent in life. Suffer punishment, but in the end would be saved.

Before the Purgatory itself was a place where people who were left to regret it only in death, others have become just too lazy at the end of life. They had to stay there for a certain period of time and then begin their purge.

At the entrance of Purgatory was an angel who put seven "P" s in each person's forehead, symbolizing the seven deadly sins for which it should be separated to reach Paradise.

Purgatory then gives your organization so that the most serious sins are next to bottom and the lighter sins are near the summit of the mountain. The sins punished in Purgatory are pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice and its opposite, gluttony and lust.

Dante and Virgil follow up to the mountaintop. From that point, Beatrice becomes Dante's guide, and Virgil back to Limbo. After the baptism of Dante, goes to Paradise.

Paradise also features your organization. They are in total nine heavens. Each sky also presents certain groups of people. The fifth heaven, for example, is home to the martyrs, the sixth, the righteous. Dante and Beatrice continue until the last level, where he seeks to see God. But the glory of God obscures the view of Dante and thus ends his adventure.

The book in general presents the difference between good and evil. Evaluates sins, giving some gravity to every one. Makes clear that only with reason, found in Virgil, you can not get to heaven. Note also that Dante creates another "heaven" for God, putting up a system described by Ptolemy.

This is a very complex book, full of symbols and interpretation. Hell and Purgatory than Paradise, features several characters from mythology, especially Greek.

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    • Sandeepa Sinha67 profile image

      Sandeepa Sinha 

      3 years ago from West Bengal, India

      Great book. Wish to read it some day

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This article gives the most simplest explanation of an important book which is bulky and complex. It summarizes the whole book without any vagueness and makes it very easy to understand. The article is very helpful in getting acquainted with the text as it is very simple to understand.

    • profile image

      binni sharma 

      5 years ago

      i have just started reading the the divine comedy so it was very helpful for me to understand the book.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      the summary given will be somehow more reliable if only the grammar structure and composition are given review and editing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      we really have to live life according to Gods will so that we can be able to inter the kingdom of God..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nkkaloka tlga noh.....

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      san kaya me mppunta pag nmatay?????????? ktakot...

    • profile image

      Gretta Louiston 

      8 years ago



    • profile image

      Gretta Louiston 

      8 years ago



    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I felt it was very easy. I encourage others to read it.

    • miloskc profile image


      8 years ago

      Ah, too bad this hub didn't exist ten years ago when I was forced to read this book in high-school... Of course, back then, reading the Divine Comedy felt like a torture. As you said, it's a very complex work. I am going to repeat what Ivona said: One of these days I will read the diving comedy!

      Great hub!

    • Ivona Poyntz profile image

      Ivona Poyntz 

      8 years ago from UK

      One of these days I WILL read the divine comedy. Great hub.


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