Sin refers to any act or thought considered evil because it goes contrary to the will of God normally in form of abomination, transgression, blasphemy and other similar acts. Existence of God in his full nature creates boundaries in human life which determines whether an act is sin or not. There are many sins as stipulated in the bible namely; adultery, idolatry, drunkenness, debauchery, fornication, slander, discord, lust, envy, wrathful, sloth, orgy and coveting among others. According to Dante’s poem entitled Divine comedy, discussing inferno, purgatorio and paradise, sins are punished by God in the afterlife when a person dies. The sin of pride involves a perverted love aimed towards harming others through relationships and other means. The proud are characterized to be egotists and always on the verge of seeking self approval and exaltation above everyone. They lack the core value of humility hence opening lee-ways for birthing others sins to foster pride such as envy, resentment, hatred, unforgiveness and lies. Even in the contemporary society, pride has cultivated the monster of racism and animosity against others in quest for superiority in terms of color, race, regions and tribes. Therefore, pride is considered as the worst sin of all and this article is an argumentative essay discussing pride evidenced by the Dante’s poem, Divine comedy.
Pride is the worst sin because it forfeits the very nature of God; the son (Jesus Christ), the creator, who left glory to become human being. The case of pride is elusively illustrated by Dante in writing out purgatory. The Poem’s allegorical and imaginative vision about after life captures Virgil guiding Dante through 7 terraces of purgatory where people purge their sins. At this point, it is important to note that it is not a mere coincidence that the sin of pride is purged on the first terrace. This shows the weight which the sin holds in the afterlife such that other sins only get purged after it has been done away with. Date presents some of the examples of people who exalted themselves by their own standard and became proud hence still purging their pride in purgatory for example, he says, “I saw him who was created nobler that any other creature, down from heaven with a flash of lightening at one side. I saw Briareus2 transfixed by the celestial bolt, lying at the other side, heavy upon the earth in mortal chill. I saw Thymbraeus,3 I saw Pallas and Mars, still armed, around their father, gazing at the scattered limbs of the giants. I saw Nimrod at the foot of his great toil, as if bewildered, and gazing at the people who in Shinar had with him been proud. O Niobe! with what grieving eyes did I see thee portrayed upon the road between thy seven and seven children slain! O Saul! how on thine own sword here didst thou appear dead on Gilboa, that after felt not rain or dew!” (Dante, 1983). Therefore, these instances confirm the common adage that goes; prides comes before a fall. In relation to such a down fall, an individual do not need to be a rocket scientist to deduce that pride is the only sin that common put down the great hence is the worst of all.
Pride is the worst sin considering the punishment that awaits the proud in the purgatory. Even though in the part; Inferno, Date discusses punishment in hell for sins such as violence, self-indulgence and malice, it is beyond dispute that pride normally leads people to such sins. In purgatory, it is illustrated that Virgil and Dante come across the souls of the proud after an introduction to humility. Their backs are bent over by weight of huge stones. This symbolizes how burdensome the sin of pride is to the bearers. Comparing to other sins, it is the only one exposing even the highest in rank before their death such as kings and leaders to be handed the same punishment with the lowly.
Pride must be the worst sin since it is costly to deal with. For instance, Dante points out the case of building the Tower of Babel which consumed a lot of efforts, time and resources and in the end surmounted to nothing owing to the fact that pride was the mother of the fringe dream of competing with God. Another case depicted in Saul who after reigning for seven years disobeyed gained out of pressure of doing something pleasant to him and his people instead of the one who appointed him the king. At the end, pride cost Saul his kingdom as well as his relationship with God and ended by dying undignified death. Dante in his poem also points out one of the biggest victims of pride and that is Lucifer. Lucifer had beauty more than all other heavenly being, a great name (morning star) and role but all those could not stand the test of time when pride occupied and consumed his heart and developed impossible dreams of challenging the supremacy of God. The after math is clear that Lucifer is no longer in heaven and as Dante exemplify, he is part of the bunch purging their sins in purgatory (Dante, 1983). Therefore, pride is expensive to deal with in comparison to other sins hence can be said to be the worst.
In conclusion, pride comes out as the worst sin in the way it undermines the very nature of son of God, the punishment of the proud is fierce as compared to other sins, it births other related sins to maintain the status and so costly to deal with. Therefore, in order not to be only bad side of the afterlife, it is important to embrace the opposite of pride which is humility.
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