First and more specifically was the fact that the then emperor did not abide by the role he had been given by God, which was a role of maintaining the regions and cities assigned to them. The corruption of the church was made possible by the weakness of the imperial power, which unjustly assigned itself power that rightly should belong only to the Emperor. Therefore, both the emperor and Pope failed in their temporal and spiritual roles respectively given to them both by God for the wellbeing and happiness of the people.
Instead, they propagated political issues to their own benefit (Alighieri 140). Some of the characters in the poem actually help Dante portray the actual situation that was happening on the Florentine political scene. His life and the way some of these issues helped influence his decisions also come out through these characters. The way he describes, interacts and alliances with some of them help us understand his actual stand and feelings on the matter. An example of this is the harsh reaction Fillipo Argenti caused on Dante, the pilgrim after finding him in Hell (Alighieri 143).
He wished that this person would be punished more severely and he actually was glad to find him there (Alighieri 140). He was considered as a member of the Black Guelphs, which was a political faction opposite Dante’s. Dante especially hated Fillipo because he took all his possessions when Dante was exiled. In addition, it is because of his hot temper that he was placed on the fifth level (Alighieri 163). Another character placed in level six is Farinata degli Uberti. Farinata was a noticeable Ghibelline party military leader a year before Dante was born.
The description of a heretic is of a person that holds an opinion that directly goes against what is usually accepted, for instance in a Church. Because he held a leadership role for the more secure party, Dante regarded him as a person who had abandoned religion throughout his life and as such, he was a heretic. Farinata supported the wealthiest families in Florence, the aristocratic and the Holy Roman Emperor, while Dante supported the Pope and Catholic religion.
Pope Anastasius II wast sent to serve forever in the sixth level by Dante because the poet held the wrong idea that the pope accepted the heretical doctrine by allowing a sinner into the church, something that the catholic found unacceptable (Alighieri 173). For those who were condemned like Ezzelino III da Romano for atrocities done against others, the poet sentences them to suffer for eternity in level seven of hell.
Alighieri, Dante. Divine Comedy Volume 1: Inferno. New York: Penguin Books, 2003. Print.
Sinclair, John. The Divine Comedy, Volume I. Inferno. London: Oxford University Press,
Cunningham, Lawrence S."Roman Catholicism."Introduction to World Religions Communities and Cultures. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010. 67-79. Print.
Dinsmore, Charles Allen The Teachings of Dante, Ayer Publishing, 1970, p. 38. Print.
Robert F. "Dante and Politics." History Today. 20 July (1970): 481-88. Print.