Dante's Inferno

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In The Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri, Satan is the Ultimate Evil. Dante’s version of Satan does not satisfy the reader, because he does not match the image in the Bible. Most readers view Satan as one supreme demon, with enormous bat wings, constantly flying all throughout Hell. He is known as the ruler of Hell, however, in this comedy, he is like any other sinners in Hell, receiving the perfect punishment for his pride against God. “O, what a marvel it appeared to me, when I beheld three faces on his head!”(Canto 34, 37-39). Dante is telling the readers that Lucifer has three different heads all on one body. This description of Satan surprises most readers because most readers are accustomed to viewing Satan as one demon with one…show more content…
“Place us below, nor be disdainful of it, there where the cold doth lock Cocytus up”(Canto 31, 116-117). Here in Canto 34, Dante sought cover behind Virgil because “...there was no other shelter”(Canto 34, 9). The winds that blew in their direction came from Satan’s enormous wings, and as both Virgil and Dante get closer, they get a glimpse of Satan himself. Satan, however, is not depicted as a huge demon with horns and great wings. Nor does he carry around a pitchfork poking sinners into the fiery pit of Hell. “The Emperor of the kingdom dolorous from his mid-breast forth issued from the ice; and better with a giant I compare than do the giants with those arms of his”(Canto 34, 28-31). By saying this, Dante is telling the readers that Satan is bigger than the giants he has encountered before him and that this terrifying beast is stuck within a frozen lake. He flaps his great wings in hopes of escaping that wretched place. Because he is in a cold, icy environment, his wings cool his surroundings, even more, making his escape that much more difficult. Satan was put in this frozen lake because most of the sinners believed themselves to be the center of the universe, instead, Satan’s crotch is the center of the…show more content…
“O, what a marvel it appeared to me, when I beheld the three faces on his head! The one in front, and that vermilion was; two were the others, that were joined with this above the middle part of either shoulder, and they were joined together at the crest”(Canto 34, 37-42). Dante’s vision of Satan has three heads because it represents the Holy Trinity: the father, the son, and the holy spirit. Each head had a face, and each face had a mouth that continuously chewed on sinners. These three sinners, Judas, Brutus, and Cassius, committed disastrous sins that go against God. Virgil refers to this portion of Hell as “Judecca,” in reference to Judas. “That soul up there which has the greatest pain, is Judas Iscariot; with head inside, plies his legs without”(Canto 34, 61-63). Judas has the worst punishment because he committed the worst crime of all, he betrayed Jesus Christ himself and God. Judas gave up Jesus Christ to the authorities at the last supper and his contrapasso is that he is chewed in Satan’s mouth forever as his paradoxical last meal. The other two sinners are Brutus, and Cassius; whom both betrayed God in the sense of betraying Rome, which was the greatest city of all. They both killed Julius Caesar and destroyed God’s hope of making Rome

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