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Inferno piece of trilogy



Trilogi: Divine comedy

Definition: Inferno

Inferno, what means Hell from Italian, is the first part of the Divine Comedy – the poem written by Dante Alighieri. After Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso go. Actually, the Inferno tells us the story of author`s journey through the Hell, guided by Virgil – great ancient Roman poet. Here is the allegory – the poem itself represents the journey of the human soul to God, where the Inferno describes the process of sin recognition.

Everything begins at night, 24 of March, right before Good Friday in the year 1300 A.D.  Dante Alighieri finds himself lost in a dark wood. He just wanders through it, full of fear and despair. He decides to climb up a small mountain, but his way is blocked by three beasts – a lion, a leopard and a she-wolf. These tree creatures symbolize three different kinds of sin that are aimed to bring human soul to the Hell. If going into details, she-wolf represents incontinence, leopard – fraud, while the leopard symbolizes violence and bestiality. Scared to death, Dante feels helpless and decides to return to the wood, where the shade of great Roman poet appears to him.

Dante starts following Virgil, but still hesitates whether he has made a right choice. Virgil tries to explain everything to Alighieri, telling that he is sent by Beatrice and two holy women. They saw Dante lost in the wood and sent Virgil to guide him to the Heaven.

Then, Virgil and Dante go through the Hell gates, seeing the words “abandon all hope, you who enter here.” Virgil leads Dante to the outlying area of the Hell, which is called Ante-Inferno. It is a place, where souls now suffer because of their life on the Earth. Dante sees how hornets bite them and how their blood is lapped by worms. He feels pity and compassion about it. The conveyer Charon then takes him to the real region of Hell, right across the Acheron river.

The First Circle of Hell is Limbo. Dante meets here Horace, Ovid, even Virgil and many others antique poets, who died without any faith in Christ, being pagans. The Second Circle is for those with the sin of Lust, where the monster Minos do the punishment to the souls. Here, Alighieri meets Francesca, who is here because of the love affair with her husband’s brother. The Third Circle of Hell Dante sees the Gluttonous lying in the mud with a non-stop rain of rottenness and excreta. The Avaricious and the Prodigal must charge each other with magnificent nodules in the Fourth Circle. The next Circle, where the river Styx flows, Dante manages to recognize one of his political enemy Filippo Argenti. This river is a swampy place, where other souls tear liars to pieces.

Then Virgil leads Dante to the walls of the Dis city, where the largest region of Hell is located. They meet demons right before the city gates, who are there to guard the territory. The demons refuse to open the gates for Virgil. So, there was an angelic messenger from Heaven, which forced the gates opening. The Sixth Circle is for Heretics, where Dante meets another political rival of him Farinata. By going through the deep valley, Virgil with Alighieri find themselves in the First Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell. There is a river with blood, where all souls who have been violent are boiling. There they meet Centaurs, who are half man and half horse. They take them to the Second Ring, where all people who committed suicides were in the form of trees. Going deeper, they meet people who were violent towards God, nature, and Art.

The monster Geryon helps Dante and Virgil to get to the Eighth Circle of Hell, also known as Malebolge, or “evil pockets.” It included ten pouches, where souls are suffering because of different sins. While wandering, Dante meets various people he knew.

By reaching a great frozen lake, Virgil and Dante proceed to the Ninth Circle of Hell. The First Ring of the Ninth Circle is Caina – place for those who were unfaithful with their close people. They stand frozen to their necks in the lake. The Second Ring, Antenora, is for souls who betrayed their country. They should stand frozen up to their heads. In Ptolomea, the Third one, people who betrayed their guests lie on their backs in the frozen lake. By following Virgil, Dante finds himself in the Fourth Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell with the lowest depth. Here those who let down their benefactors spend the eternity in icy submersion.

Dante sees huge misted from right ahead. It is a giant three-headed Lucifer. Every mouth of this creature chews one of the three biggest sinners ever: Judas, Cassius, and Brutus. Virgil leads Dante ahead, and they reach the river of forgetfulness, the Lethe. Finally, before the sunrise on Easter morning, they find themselves on the Earth again.

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