Study Guide

A Season in Hell Religion

By Arthur Rimbaud

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The speaker of "A Season in Hell" has got a lot to say about religion, and Christianity specifically. Since he sees himself in, you know, hell, you can imagine that most of what he says isn't all that complimentary. Oddly, and unlike a lot of critics of Christianity, he's no fan of science, either (check out "Themes: Science" if you don't believe us). It's not like he hates Christianity exclusively. Really, he's against any kind of dogmatic, conventional thinking—and it doesn't get much more dogmatic than Christianity. Don't take it personally, though, Christianity. This speaker's got mad beef with society, and you just happen to be a big part of it.

Questions About Religion

  1. What critiques of Christianity does the speaker offer?
  2. Do you think the speaker's beef is with Christianity specifically, or with God in general? What parts of the poem give you your ideas?
  3. Do you think the speaker's critiques are aimed at Christianity as a religion, or just bad Christians? How can you tell?
  4. What parts of the poem suggest that the speaker might still identify with Christian ideas?

Chew on This

The speaker's attacks on Christianity are simply another way for him to show his isolation in society.

Despite his critiques, the speaker retains a deeply religious faith in God.

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