Dante’s Inferno – Analysis
Nearly twelve years have passed since the betrayal and disloyalty of my brother, Antonio, the current Duke of Milan who I believe is power-hungry and foolish, but yet I still remember how he and Alonso, the King of Naples, conspired to cast my daughter, Miranda, and I out to a desolate island. In this time, I have done much contemplating after what has transpired.
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I have read Dante’s Inferno and I find myself relating to what occurred in Dante’s visit to purgatory and how it compares to the dire situation that I’m in now, choosing between continuing my revenge against those who have wronged me or sub coming to forgiveness. As I sit here in my library, I have started to question my actions and humanity. I have asked myself, who am I? What will I become if I do not learn to forgive? Should I punish my enemies for their betrayal against me? Because now I know that it was devious of me to take such actions into my hands even if I feel justified in doing so.
But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me first inform you on what I’ve done. Using my magical powers, I crashed the ship on the rocks on the edge of the island, by creating a catastrophic storm, The Tempest, making sure none who were on board were injured before dispersing them all over the island. The spirit Ariel, whom I saved from the evil witch Sycorax, who is also my servant, has aided me in manipulating my wrongdoers. Through music, Ariel has led Ferdinand, the King’s son, across the island to me, where he and Miranda, under my spell, have fallen instantly in love. I gave, Ferdinand, several heavy tasks to test his worthiness and love for Miranda and was pleased to learn that he is genuine in his devotion to my daughter. Yes, I was the puppet master and they were my puppets to do with whatever I wish.
While Alonso, Antonio, Sebastian, the brother of Alonso, and Gonzalo, the counselor to Alonso, were wondering about the island when I decided that they were less of a threat to myself and themselves if for a while I captured them. A cast a spell that only I could break. The King believed his son to be dead and Ariel reported that he was depressed and very vulnerable, two of the others, Antonio and Sebastian, almost decided to kill the King and would have succeeded if I hadn’t intervened. I allowed Ariel to use his music to wake them up, before the deed could be done.
It was then Caliban who encountered Alonso’s jester, Trinculo, and butler, Stephano, and decided to join alliances with the aim of conspiring against me and overthrowing my rule of the island. However, they got drunk, and I sent Ariel to confuse and play tricks on them. They reminded me of the gluttonous souls in the third level of hell, who overindulged themselves with drink. Nevertheless, once they arrived at my cell, I distracted them, by hanging beautiful clothing in my cell, which they decided to attempt to steal. Yet, Ariel and I sent a pack of spirits in the shape of dogs and hounds to be immediately set upon them.
Like Dante I understand the importance of justice, and that those who fail to repent of their sins, will face God’s punishments. In a way, I acted as if I were God, I punish those individuals who treated me poorly, I manipulated the lives of Alonso, Antonio, Sebastian, and Gonzalo, and a few others. Now I must own up to my sin of retribution. First, let me admit that it was sinful to force Ariel to do my bidding and to hold him captive as a servant, and it was also a sin to disrespect and treat Caliban like a slave and to take away his island. Before I repented, I considered myself to be a controlling tyrant. I was no better than any of the fallen souls who found themselves in purgatory because of their actions.
Dante’s Inferno has been of great benefit, because now I understand that it was the excess of greed, envy, malice, and ambition, which brought the souls of the dead to the nine levels of hell, hence why I have chosen to forgive my enemies for the sake of my own soul. If I chose not to do so, I believe I would have found myself amongst fifth circle of hell, where the souls that are filled with anger, and are furious and naked, tear each other piecemeal with their teeth. In order to keep my soul from entering purgatory I had to overcome the temptation of vengeance against my kin, primarily my brother. I have to admit it was hard, but it had to be done. I asked Ariel to bring the King, my brother, and Gonzalo to me, before I forgave them for their sins towards me.
There is even more good news. My dear Miranda is to be wed the King’s son, Ferdinand, which makes me very proud. They have earned my blessing. Although my actions were imperfect, I believe I have discovered my true self and have undergone a great transformation after these events, which is why I have abandoned my magical arts. Not only this, But I also gave Ariel one final task, which was to make sure the seas were calm for the return voyage. Then I graciously set him free. The King has agreed to make me duke of Milan once more and I think this time I know I will be better prepared for the challenges that may come. I will keep a close eye on my brother but will remain neutral in how I feel about our past because I will not allow the forces of anger, malice, and envy to take me and devour my soul in a pit of misery.”