Dante's Inferno Questions and Answers
by Dante Alighieri

Dante's Inferno book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is Virgil's advice to Dante at the Gate of Hell?

Expert Answers info

Lauren Willson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

bookM.A. from Radford University


calendarEducator since 2017

write1,502 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Virgil tells Dante that he has to stop being scared and put aside any lack of belief. He has to accept that what he sees inside Hell is what is meant to happen by the will of God.

Dante is frightened when he sees the sign on the gates of Hell that ends with, "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here." The sign indicates that Hell was created by God; the people suffering inside are getting their earned reward for their behavior. Dante tells Virgil that he has difficulty understanding it.

Virgil says:

Here all suspicion needs must be abandoned,
All cowardice must needs be here extinct.

We to the place have come, where I have told thee
Thou shalt behold the people dolorous
Who have foregone the good of intellect.

He is explaining to Dante that he must be brave and accept what he sees within. The people will be miserable and suffering, but that is what is supposed to happen. Virgil then takes Dante's hand and comforts him as they go in. 

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial