Written by Dante Alighieri.
Written in the 14th Century as the first part Dante's "Divine Comedy".
About Dante Alighieri
Durante "Dante" degli Alighieri was born sometime around 1265 in Florence, Italy. He married Gemma di Manetto Donati before his exile in 1301, which was brought about due to unfortunate circumstances with the Pope. He was very involved in the politics of Italy and Rome, although the full extents are unknown due to destruction of documents from the time period. He died in 1321, presumed to be 56 if the assumption of his birth being in 1265 is true.
The first act of Divine Comedy, Inferno, takes place in "Inferno", which is the Italian word for Hell.
Dante is the central character of the entire "Divine Comedy" series, beginning with the Inferno. He is in conflict with himself and straying from the path of righteousness.
Portrait by Sandro Botticelli
Virgil is a deceased Roman Poet born before the death of Christ. He was sent to guide Dante, and they get along well due to Dante's respect of Virgil, and their similar personality and hobbies, both being poets. Virgil's main conflict is leading Dante through the 9 Levels of Hell.
Depiction of Virgil from 3rd Century AD
The Inferno is written in the form of a poem, usually in sets of three lines with the final word of the first and third lines rhyming (although some rhymes fall flat due to the translation from Italian to English).
Dante finds himself lost in a dark forest, straying from the right path. When Three Beasts attack Dante, he is saved by Virgil, who was sent from Heaven to guide Dante through The Inferno, more modernly referred to as hell. Dante and Virgil journey through the 9 Levels of Hell, encountering notorious sinners as they make their way through the underworld.
The theme of The Inferno is Learning and Growth. Through seeing all of Hell, Dante grows to become a better person.