Assignment: Dante Alighieri constructs his version of hell using the concept of “symbolic retribution,” or a punishment that symbolizes the crime committed. In this essay, fully discuss Dante’s use of symbolic retribution and what it might tell us about his religious and/or moral beliefs. In particular, use three specific examples from the Inferno of characters who are punished under Dante’s system. Be sure to explain their crime and how their punishment, according to Dante, symbolically fits it. This portion of the paper should consist of at least 700 words and use at least two outside sources (in addition to the primary text).
Then, in a 100-word addendum, imagine if Dante were writing his poem in the year 2021. What new character might he add? What is the crime and what kind of punishment would fit under the rules of symbolic retribution? Like in Dante’s work, your “character” should be a real, historical figure. The moral crimes and failings attributed to them should correspond to what is actually ascribed to that person in real life. The punishment of these crimes should ingeniously fit the crimes, in much the same manner as Dante achieves in the Inferno.
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