Contrapasso: Roland and the Inferno

Have you ever noticed that when you do something bad you get punished? And when you do something good you usually get rewarded? And usually the consequence you get relates to what you did? Contrapasso would e a word to describe this. It means that one’s punishment fits their crime. The author of Roland and Dante- who wrote the Divine Comedy- show examples of this in their writings.
In The Inferno, It really proves that every action has fitting repercussions. In Circle Eight Section 6 it says something about how the hypocrites wore leaded cloaks with fake gold. They walked around aimlessly for eternity. Whenever I think of hypocrites I think of the Pharisees. They always seemed to contradict themselves. They walked around acting fake like they were these holy people when really they sinned every day. That relates to the fake gold they wore on the outside.
Another example in the inferno is in the very first circle. This is where all those who didn’t do anything good but at the same time did nothing bad walked around following an unmarked flag. It says on page 147, “Of those ill spirits both to God displeasing and to His foes”. There only punishment was really not being in paradise (heaven). This shows that they weren’t really following God in their life. They never showed what they followed or believed in kind of like following an unmarked or blank flag.
In Roland, Roland was always prideful. He was always looking out for himself and never wanting to look bad no matter what the penalty was. And because of this, by the time Oliver talked him into blowing the horn it was too late. When Roland blew the horn, the king did not come because he thought Roland was to prideful. This resulted in the death of Roland’s army.
Roland and the Inferno both prove that actions come with consequences. Although the Inferno had many more examples of contrapasso, Roland also gave a great example. Just as in Roland and the Inferno, your actions in real life will almost always.