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“The Feminine” in Dante’s The Inferno

Like many great authors throughout time, Dante Alighieri demonstrates the underlying significance of female characters in his epic, The Inferno. Due to the misconceptions men had of women during this era, women were granted much less societal acceptance and were easily labelled as seductresses. More so, Beatrice’s character suggests a much deeper relationship to Dante – one more than plain, physical love. In this sense, the women in this poem partake in two very distinct roles: either the divine love Beatrice represents, or the sinful female inhabitants of the Underworld in whom Dante sympathizes with. Women’s sins, as depicted by Dante, tend to be overwhelmingly sexual in nature as compared to men’s. Hell is divided into seven circles, according to…