Discuss how Dante’s notion of sin and redemption is played out in Inferno.

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Dante's Inferno is structured around the idea of sin and punishment. He visits the nine circles of Hell and learns what each group of sinners has done and how his/her eternal punishment reflects his/her sins. Dante himself is not dead yet, so he hasn't been assigned a circle of Hell. He is simply "taking a tour," but the purpose of this journey is for him to learn the dangers and consequences of sin so he will be motivated to redeem himself and earn a spot in Heaven.

Dante beings in the "Dark Wood of Error," which symbolizes how he has fallen off "the straight road" to Heaven. He has been tempted (represented by the three beasts) and has not been strong enough to overcome those temptations. Virgil appears and offers to be his guide through Hell, and the two proceed to the Vestibule of Hell. They witness the sinners, who are being symbolically punished for their wrongdoings on Earth. At the end of this arduous journey, Dante's character must literally climb over Satan to get to Purgatory....

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