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Welcome to hell.

An introduction and overview to Dante's Inferno.

Jean Prokott

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Welcome to hell.

Welcome to hell.
Dante Alighieri.
Additional interactive guides.
Folks love to draw Dante's hell.
Dante's Inferno.
Dante was born in Florence in 1265, so he's supes old.
Dante studied law and rhetoric at the University of Bologna.
but he did not study sandwiches.
Dante also studied poetry in Bologna, because everybody was doing it. There, he gained the needed knowledge to complete the
Divine Comedy.

Then it got political.
Dante was a member of the Guelphs, which was a dominant political group in Italy.
That group was divided into two parties: the "white Guelphs," which supported the Roman empire, and the "black Guelphs," which supported the Pope.
Dante was a "white" Guelph, but at the time, the Pope, Boniface VIII, supported the black Guelphs.
In 1302, the black Guelphs came into power, and then Dante, who had once fought in battle and been a Florentine official, was exiled from Florence. Like, they just kicked him out.
Dante, get the hell out of here.
but florence is my favies. You go to hell!
dante never returned to florence,
and he died in 1321. But not before exacting
his revenge.
The divine comedy.
a few years before his death, Dante wrote the
Divine Comedy
, which is about a man's trip through hell, purgatory, and heaven--but with a spiritual guide.
it's like
It's a Wonderful Life.
But, like, in hell.
also, it's called a "comedy" because it has a happy ending, not because it's funny. Unless you think the images of souls burning in eternal fire as their flesh melts from their skulls is funny. Then, it's a little funny.
It is broken into three sections
Inferno: Dante goes to hell.
Purgatorio: Dante goes to purgatory.
Paradiso: Dante reaches salvation in heaven.
We'll read about hell because it's the bestest.
Dante's hell is organized by circles--like a big funnel. The "worse" sins are in the lower layers of hell, and the layers make up many of the "seven deadly sins" known in Catholicism.
totes like that movie
Because of the exile we mentioned earlier and Dante's obsession with politics, he gets back at those who done him wrong by giving them guest appearances in his hell. He was a little bitter.
You'll find that Dante's hell is very black & white, and you might disagree with where he puts people. His rules are ironically scientific and formulaic regarding love and betrayal of God.
Dante was also way obsessed with the number three.
like, annoyingly so.
any speculation as to why?
The divine comedy is THREE parts (inferno, purgatorio, paradiso)
Catholicism believes in the holy TRINITY: father, son, and holy ghost
there are 9 circles in hell; divisible by three
each section of the divine comedy is composed of 33 cantos, or sections
did you know Jesus was 33 when he died?
dante uses a form called
terza rima,
which appears in tercets (three-lined stanzas)
she's right
I was
dante encounters three monsters on earth that prevent him from getting to heaven
Satan has three heads
and a ton of other examples
we'll find along the way.
the law of Dante's hell is
symbolic retribution.
dante enters upper hell,
which is reserved for the sins of
generally, these sins harmed nobody but the sinner himself
virtuous pagans; unbaptized infants
the punishment fits the crime
punishment: not knowing God: boredom
The Lustful
those who indulged in sexual desires
punishment: blown forever by
storm winds
punishment: they must forever lie in filth and muck, like pigs
punishment: pushing rocks, useless labor
punishment: angry thrash and fight; sullen sulk underwater and refuse all action
punishment: an eternal grave of fire, since they thought the soul dies with the body
punishment: immersed in boiling blood forever and if they try to get out, they are pierced with arrows
The Gluttons
those who indulged in food and sloth
those who were obsessed with money
those who were angry or irritated and reserved
the Heretics
lower hell: the city of dis
intellectual sins rather than sins of passion
those who don't believe in or are against God
section #1: against neighbors
section #2: against themselves
punishment: since they destroyed their own bodies, they are denied human form and live inside inanimate objects like trees--their original bodies lie nearby
section #3: against God and nature (blasphemers, sodomites)
punishment: left naked on burning sand with fire raining down from unnatural clouds
there are 10 ditches in circle 8, full of sinners.
1. Pimps & seductresses: whipped by devils
2. Flatterers: covered in poop
3. Simonists (church officials who took bribes): flipped in holes with feet set on fire
4.Barraters (gov. officials who take bribes): covered in boiling pitch, poked with pitchforks
5. Soothsayers (false prophets): heads twisted around backwards so they see what is behind them and not in front of them
6. Hypocrites: forced to wear big lead robes and walk around a track
7. thieves and robbers: half are transformed into snakes and half are human--they can only get human form by stealing it from others
8. evil counselors: true nature is concealed in flames
9. troublemakers (ruin what God has created): hacked apart by a demon with a bloody sword; they must carry their own bodies around
10. falsifiers (impersonators, liars): punished by all afflictions. such as thirst, disease--some run through the pit and tear others to pieces
those who denied love and human warmth
caina (named after Cain), murderers of family members: frozen in ice up to neck with head bent forward
Antenora (traitors to political party or country): frozen in ice up to neck
Ptolomea (murderers of guests and dependents): frozen in ice up to neck with head bent backward
the center of hell
Satan, Judas, Brutus, and Cassius: Satan's three heads eat them, eternally--the center is frozen as Satan beats his bat-like wings
Full transcript