In the epic "Dante's Inferno," " by Dante Alighieri, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. Dante Alighieri's epic confronts the reader and audience with a sense of violence, portrayed like no other. With the abandonment of hope at the gates of hell, the scenes in the epic are able to be described so gruesomely and paint a vivid picture of what the nine circles of hell are like. The majority of the imagery used in the poem is meant to scare the readers and send chilling thoughts into their minds. The epic was the first one of its kind because it actually gives hell an image and depicts it in some of the images that only nightmares will tell. Throughout the epic, Dante is forced to experience every level of hell in order to get to heaven and the love of his life. From the first circle, to the last circle, many forms of violence and torture are witnessed by Dante, but all of the different violent acts of torture have their own specific meanings. With the abandonment of hope, events like the stormy winds of circle II, the pushing of rocks and useless labor in circle IV, and the submerging of killers in the blood of circle VII are all violent acts of torture that take place for their own sake.
Dante is accompanied by the famous poet Virgil on his journey through the underworld to heaven. One of the first experiences of violence that they come across is in the second circle of hell. In this circle of hell, there are the souls that were overcome by lust. These souls are described as "Carnal sinners who subordinate reason to desire." (Cantos VI, 38-39). The souls are trapped in an eternal wind storm that blows them back and forth without any rest. The symbolism of this punishment is that lust has the ability to lead someone on aimlessly and needlessly just as the wind storm that they have been abandoned to suffer in has done to them. This punishment shows one way in which Dante Alighieri made no scene of violence exist for its own sake.