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Dante’s work Inferno is a vivid walkthrough the depths of hell and invokes much imagery, contemplation and feeling. Dante’s work beautifully constructs a full sensory depiction of hell and the souls he encounters along the journey. In many instances within the work the reader arrives at a crossroads for interpretation and discussion. Canto XI offers one such crux in which Dante asks the question of why there is a separation between the upper levels of hell and the lower levels of hell. By discussing the text, examining its implications and interpretations, conclusions can be drawn about why there is delineation between the upper and lower levels and the rationale behind the separation.
Canto XI serves the purpose in a twofold way; literally as a pause to the character Dante to prepare himself for the foul stench of the lower depths of hell, and as a pause to the reader to discuss the rationale of divine punishment. When the canto begins Virgil and Dante stop to prepare for the coming levels. Dante asks Virgil to find a productive way to pass the time. Virgil obliges Dante an…