Divine Retribution ( in Italian contrapasso)

Divine Retribution ( in Italian contrapasso) is clearly shown in canto 28 by showing the punishment of the sowers of schism and scandal in the 9th bolgia of circle 8. To begin this canto, Dante talks of the many wars in Puglia (southeastern Italy) and across the peninsula which have been known as the bloodiest. He does this to show that this 9th bolgia is far bloodier than these, and beyond description. Those in this bolgia are punished by having to walk a track where they are cut open and slashed, but their wounds heal only to be cut again. The father of the worldwide religion of Islam, Mahomet, is placed here, along with his follower, Ali. To illustrate the severity of the punishments to which these people are under, Dante uses the idea of blood and bones with decaying flesh. He states that the extent is incomprehensible, and cannot be captured by words, yet he says that if the bones and blood of the many wars that have plagued the peninsula of Italy could be piled up, they would not compare to the sight of the 9th bolgia. The punishment is extremely grotesque and demeaning as shown by the description of Mahomet as being ripped open from his chin to where we fart. Between his legs his guts spilled out, with the heart and other vital parts, and the dirty sack that turns to *censored* whatever the mouth gulps down. The disgust that accompanies this description must be intended and it is no coincidence that is the father of the nation of Islam. With Mahomet and Ali are others which can be classified as being sowers of scandal as opposed to schism in the religious sense. They are the causes of wars, troubles, and many persons discord and death. Some have their throats slits, others cut beyond recognition, and others have their arms chopped off. Bertran de Born, who counciled the young prince Henry to revolt against his father, King Henry II of England, is among those. With the young princes death, brought…

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