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Transcript of Dante's Inferno
"As a famished man chews crust-so the one sinner
sank his teeth into the other's nape
at the base of the skull, gnawing his loathsome dinner." (Canto XXXII)
The Dark Wood of Error
The Vestibule of Hell
The River Styx
The Gate of Dis
1. Violent against Neighbors
2. Violent against Self
3. Violent against God,
Art and Nature
1. Seducers and Panderers
Caina: Treachery against Kin
Antenora: Treachery against Country
Ptolomea: Treachery against
guests and hosts
Judecca: Treachery against laws
8. Evil Counsellors
9. Sowers of Discord
10. Counterfeiters and Alchemists
Onwards to the Mount of Purgatory and Heaven
Violence and Gore
"[The hounds] sprang on him; with their fangs they opened him
and tore him savagely, and then withdrew,
carrying his body with them, limb by limb" (Canto XIII)
"Split from his chin to the mouth with which man farts.
Between his legs all of his red guts hung
with the heart, the lungs, the liver, the gall bladder,
and the shrivelled sac that passes shit to the bung"
"And as they scrubbed and clawed themselves, their nails
drew down the scabs the way a knife scrapes bream
or some other fish with even larger scales" (Canto XXIX)
" 'Sullen were we in the air made sweet by the Sun;
in the glory of his shining our hearts poured
a bitter smoke. Sullen were we begun;
sullen we lie forever in this ditch.'
This litany they gargle in their throats
as if they sang, but lacked the words and pitch"
Irony of Punishments
Violent against their neighbors
must stand within a river of boiling blood
with the depth matching the crime's severity
Simoniacs are upside-down in baptismal fonts burning with only their feet protruding
The Gluttons lie amongst the putrid slush while Cerberus drools over them
"Huge hailstones, dirty water, and black snow
pour from the dismal air to putrefy
the putrid slush that waits for them below"
The sullen are buried in the muddy waters of the Styx, attempting to sing a chant
The Heretics lie eternally in open graves
The Suicides are turned into trees who are able to speak when their branches are broken
"Enormous herds of naked souls I saw,
lamenting til their eyes were burned of tears;
they seemed condemned by unequal law,
for some were stretched supine upon the ground,
some squatted with their arms about themselves,
and others without pause roamed round and round.
Most numerous were those that roamed the plain.
Far fewer were souls stretched on the sand,
but moved to louder cries by greater pain.
And over all that sand on which they lay
or crouched or roamed, great flakes of flame fell slowly
as snow falls in the Alps on a windless day." (Canto XIV)
From Greek Mythology:
Archeron and Charon (Canto III)
Achilles & Minos (Canto V)
Cerberus (Canto VI)
The River Styx (Canto VIII)
The Furies and Medusa (Canto IX)
The Minotaur & Chiron (Canto XII)
Harpies (Canto XIII)
Arachne, Phaethon and Icarus (Canto XVII)
Tiresias (Canto XX)
Ulysses and Diomedes (XXVI)
Tityos, Typhon and Antaeus (Canto XXXI)
Julius Caesar, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Livy and Anaxogoras (Canto IV)
Homer, Horace, Ovid and Lucan (Canto IV)
Alexander the Great, Dionysius of Syracuse (Sicily) and Attila the Hun (Canto XII)
Aesop (Canto XXIII)
Mahomet and Ali (Canto XXVIII)
Scipio Africanus and Hannibal Barca (Canto XXXI)
Brutus and Cassius (Canto XXXIV)
First known usage is in
Dante's 'Divine Comedy'
Each Canto follows Terza Rima and ends with a couplet or single-line stanza
"Thus did the ballast of seventh hold
shift and reshift; and may the strangeness of it
excuse my pen if the tale is strangely told.
And though all this confused me, they did not flee
so cunningly but what I was aware
that it was Puccio Sciancato alone of the three
that first appeared, who kept his old form still.
The other was he for whom you weep, Gaville"
(Canto XXV, lines 139-146)
"He also firmly believed that the senses were the avenues to the mind and that sight was the most powerful ("noblest" he would have said) of these. Hence his art was predominantly visual. He believed also that the mind must be moved in order to grasp what the senses present to it; therefore he combines sight, sound, hearing, smell and touch with fear, pity, anger, horror, and other appropriate emotions to involve his reader"
-Archibald T. MacAllister
Cain, Judas and Satan/Lucifer in Circle IX
the Old Testament, Genesis and Providence (Canto XI)
St Peter (Canto I)
The one who murdered his partner-in-crime becomes his meal
The fortunetellers have their heads turned backwards on their bodies, eternally walking backwards with their eyes blinded by tears
Jehopsaphat (Canto X and Canto XVII)
John the Evangelist (Canto XIX)
Achitophel and Absolom (Canto XXVIII)
Dante Aligheiri was born in late May, 1265 and lived in Florence, Italy
He married a woman picked out for him by his family, despite being in love with another, Beatrice.
Beatrice died suddenly in 1290, and Dante's first published novel 'Vita Nuova' was dedicated to her.
The two political parties the Blacks and the Whites, began fighting in the streets.
Dante was elected, a prior, one of 6 supreme magistrates.
He was exiled by the Black Geulphs in 1302.
The Inferno was published roughly 1314.
In 1321 on the return from a diplomatic trip in Venice he died of sudden illness.
Why is The Inferno a significant work of European literature?
It has been adapted as:
Influenced Writers including: