Dante’s Inferno and Everyman clearly have certain similarities and certain differences in their main characters and themes. The similarities begin with the goals of each character. In Inferno, Dante suddenly wakes up in the dark woods and knows he must get out of them. As it says, sin has “harassed [his] heart with so much fear” (Inferno 1837). The dark woods are representative of a sinful life, and the only way to get out of them, and ultimately get to Heaven after he dies, is to take a trip through Inferno or Hell, which Dante does. In Everyman, God sends Death to get Everyman, which obviously means that it is time for Everyman to die, but Everyman knows he is not ready to get into Heaven, and will have to go through a rough pilgrimage in order to do so. He must figure out which friends, who are symbols of certain virtues, can help him get into Heaven and which ones can not. In both of these plots the goals of the characters are similar in that both are ultimately trying to get into Heaven and both must go through hard times to get their (or realize what they need to do to get there). The characters are similar in that both are willing to do what is necessary to get into Heaven. Obviously their eternities are very important to both of them and they are willing to go through a lot to obtain Heaven. Both characters, prior to their encounters with death and sin, had their priorities in very wrong places. At the beginning of each story, both men are living lives of sin that they are content with, however they are both Religiously educated and know what it takes to get into Heaven. It is just not a priority until they realize the consequences of their sins. .
The fact that they both are educated as to what it takes to get into Heaven raises an interesting point because, upon further examination, the two works differ somewhat on exactly how to get to Heaven. Dante, by the end of the story, realizes the evil in certain sins and how much they offend God, but there is not much mention of good deeds and if they can help you get into Heaven.