The Medieval Abyss of Eternal Suffering


The Middle Ages is a common subject of lovely Romantic pieces as it was the time of chivalry, tragic romances, crusades, brutal torture, folklore, superstitious beliefs, and a dominant Christian culture. As much as we would want to go back to this mystical era, life during the Middle Ages was surely not as easy as the lives we are living today. Before, the society was made up of only three groups: the nobility, the clergy, and the peasants; and people were roughly fitted into these categories. Social hierarchy was existent back then, which puts despair into the hearts of those who aspire for social equity.

Religion influenced the lives of medieval Europeans to a great extent, made evident by the constant crusades and the brutal torture machines for the deemed heretics. The influence of the Roman Catholic Church was dominant in the lives of the Europeans, that they totally believed that the earthly life was just a preparation for one of the destinations in the afterlife – heaven or hell. Because the medieval people were often depicted as seeing the world through rose-colored glasses and having strong beliefs (especially dictated by the Catholic Church) despite the lack of scientific evidences, religion was the medium through which the powerful control the people for their own benefits. Religion was used by kings to exercise their authority or unite their people, while the clergy use it to gain a lot of money. They were even richer than the monarchs, for people back then believe that they had to pay or offer something for the church to lessen the years of their stay in purgatory and head straight for heaven.

The medieval Europeans’ notion of heaven was a place of spiritual bliss, sweet joy, love, and peace in the company of God, Jesus, and the angels; while their notion of hell was a place of brutal torture, eternal suffering – basically a place full of wailings, torments, wrath, sadness, and hopelessness. I personally don’t know the true nature of these two places if ever they really exist, but I reckon that medieval people picture things extremely and they couldn’t see any middle ground. Dante portrayed hell as a place of persistent torture for the people who go against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, or simply those who committed one or more of the seven deadly sins that lead to damnation conceived during the Middle Ages along with the seven heavenly virtues. Developing such horrible and gruesome notions about hell was not inconceivable, for the most cruel and barbaric torture devices sprang from the Middle Ages, mostly used for those who go against the Church. The Church back then was really powerful like that, for your choice between your carnal desires and abidance to religious doctrines would be a matter of life and death in your earthly life.

However, let us remember that the renaissance just followed after this era. The development of technology and scientific researches only surfaced after the end of the medieval period, so we may excuse these overly superstitious people for that matter. The faithful belief that they had to whatever the Church said was so great that even Dante had made a political propaganda out of the Christian belief in the afterlife. It was made obvious by the way he included Roman traitors and his own enemies in his work. I rather think that he was indeed prejudiced in writing The Divine Comedy, although he had written it exquisitely. Classic pieces of literature like this are ought to be profoundly appreciated if not necessarily believed in, for Dante’s masterpiece had pretty much reflected the collective beliefs of the medieval people during that Christian-dominated era, and the wonders and horrors that the human imagination could ever produce. 

Charmed


I can never name another softer girl. Her mere existence would make you think of a soft cloud, cotton candy, pixie dust, a lovely flower, a charming rainbow, or a giggling baby. It seems like the sensual images of women portrayed by Beyonce Knowles, Megan Fox, Christina Aguilera, or Britney Spears are the modern world’s ideal of feminine beauty, but they certainly lack the copious charisma that this cute girl infects the world. She made me ponder how strong women – or basically women wanting to appear strong – are ignorant of the key ingredient of charm. After eighteen years of being exposed to the heinousness of this demon-infested planet, certainly she isn’t as gullible and ignorant as toddlers are, but she radiates a pure aura that hints she was untainted and as immaculate as a newborn fresh from heaven. 

She isn’t goddesslike, or the kind of woman who seems flawless in every physical aspect. She isn’t the one to adore and revere like Aphrodite; for even as she is already moving towards womanhood, her soul still leans on her childish past which is distinctly manifested by her physique. She has a petite and delicate figure, a face which is a bit on the round side because of her chubby cheeks, eyes that remarkably exhibit whatever emotion she currently feels – whether it is extreme bliss, a heartbreaking sadness, or an explosive wrath – and a soft smile that magically melts your icy heart. There is nothing angular in her appearance: everything you see in her is soft, curved, or vulnerable. She isn’t the kind of girl you can liken to Helen of Troy, the kind whom a myriad of men fight for and display as a trophy and an emblem of their masculinity. She is the kind of girl that you would seriously want to take home and safeguard for the rest of your life. She is a gleeful but lost puppy in the streets that you would want to grab before anyone gets enraptured by it. 

Strong people, especially the narcissists, are normally repulsed by anything that depicts weakness, chiefly children and the elderly. However, this girl will put an end to your prejudice the moment you see her perform, talk, act, and do whatever she does. You surely won’t detect a trace of strength or manliness in her. She’s a creature who’d excitingly get near you and innocently smother you with clingy affection. Her permanent naïveté would make you regret any hurtful gesture that you’d try to inflict upon her. Any insensitive deed done to her would draw tears easily from her, and would make her withdraw the abundant affection she has reserved in her heart for you. Losing her is like losing the bright blue sky and gentle breeze in your life. Seeing others enjoy the company of that charming lady while there is an impenetrable iron curtain (caused by the pain you caused her) between you is really unbearable. She’s an amulet that you’ve got to protect infinitely so as to bring beauty and joy for the rest of your life.
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