Thursday, September 22, 2011

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Book Review: Divine Comedy; Inferno (Live the journey too!)

               All right, so yesterday, I started reading the Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri. I've always loved the concept he'd made of hell, and after months of searching it at the high school's library, I found it. Up until now, I've LOVED the hell out of the book (figuratively). So, what's it about, for those of you with lesser cultural knowledge that have bestowed upon me the responsibility of educating you by reading this blog?  (This shall possibly be my longest post ever).

Ready for a magical trip filled with wonder and horror?

              Dante's in a forest (Yes, he's the main character) halfway through life (35 years old, ha, HA dad...) and a few things appear to him while he is lost. A leopard, a lion, a she-wolf, and Virgil (Yay, another poet). The last he follows to the gates of hell, which has a comforting inscription: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here". 

Why the hell is the thinker everywhere?
(Hint, he's Dante)

              So, Dante starts entering hell, first seeing the Shores of Acheron. Charon, a cranky old fart, didn't want to let Dante through, but Virgil had a small talk with Charon, and they stepped on his ferry. Before entering hell completely, Dante saw the uncommited, or, those who didn't take sides in the Rebellion Against God (lazy fucks). Now, I shall describe each of the circles of hell...

E-GAD! How come he's not dead?

Circle 1: Limbo

            Here rest virtuous pagans and unbaptized babies (yes, that's cruel, as they had no choice), and the circle of limbo is like a defectuous version of Heaven. There's a castle with seven gates (representing the seven virtues) where many philosophers (and even Virgil) live. The non-virtuous are punished by being naked and chased by mosquitoes. 

Pictured: Limbo

Circle 2: Lust

           This circle is for those who love sex. That's as simple as I can phrase it. These are the first truly punished. They are blown from one place to another by a giant hurricane, unable to rest (That actually sounds like fun, doesn't it?) 

Lust. As seen by EA Games.

Circle 3: Gluttony

            This one's actually kind of gross. Cerberus, "The Great Worm" guards the circle of Gluttony, where fat guys spend their days lying in a giant puddle of shit under a rain of icy shit. Gluttons lie sightless and heedless of their nieghbors (I mean really, who can actually see through a rain of shit?) 

Cerberus, as seen by EA.

Circle 4: Greed

           Where many people would agree that Donald Trump and Lars Ulrich would appear in, this circle belongs to those who kept and spent money (Somehow, I feel like we're not supposed to have fun). The hoarders and squanderers actually fight each other, screaming stuff like "Why do you waste?" and  "Why do you keep?". They're guarded by Plutus, the Greek god of wealth. He says something that nobody has understanded until now: "Papé Satan, papé Satan aleppe". 

Oh yeah, they also carried huge bags of money around. 

Circle 5: Anger

          In the swampy river Styx, the wrathful fight on the surface (Fucking' A!) and the slothful lie under a sort of ice cape that blocks them from going up to breathe. The marshes surround the City of Dis (Not that) which is guarded by Fallen Angels, and the furies, including Medusa. They wouldn't let Dante and Virgil enter, but an angel descended from heaven and touched the gate with his wand (get your mind out of the gutter) and shut the fallen angels up. 

Phlegyas, ferryman of the River Styx.

Circle 6: Heresy

           Those who are heretics, and atheists, suffer in this circle by being in flaming tombs. 

Sorry guys, would you help me with this nasty itch?

Circle 7: Violence
Divided into three parts:

Outer: Violence against people and property, immersed in a river of boiling blood. People like Alexander the Great are found here. 

Middle: Violence against one's self (suicide). These people are transformed into twisted trees where harpies make nests. 

Inner: Violence against God (blasphemers) and nature (homosexuals. No, really) live in a desert in which fire rains from the sky. 

Mmm, smells like soup.

Circle 8: This circle is for the fraudulent, and is divided into ten parts: 

1: Seducers, who suffer by being whipped by demons (Isn't that what they like?)

2: Flatterers, people who falsely complemented others, are immersed waist-deep in shit, which represents their words. 

3: Those who perform simony (paying for religious services, like baptism) are immeresed into the ground with their feet out. Their feet are always burning. 

4: Astrologers, sorcerers and false prophets: They walk with their head backwards, so they can't see ahead. 

5: Politicians (hehe) , immersed in pitch (a sort of flammable, sticky thing). 

6: Hypocrytes: They're stuck to the ground by leather cloaks. 

7: Thieves, guarded by the Centaur Cacus, are chased and bitten by snakes and lizards. 

8: Fraudulent advisors, they just walk around, burning. 

9: Civil desobedients are hacked by a devil again and again. 

10: Alchemists that are always sick. 

Circle 9: Treachery

             So, after crossing the biggest god-damned circle on the planet, Dante reaches the final circle, which contains those who have done the worst sin possible. There are a few levels. The first is those who betrayed their kindred, named Caina. The second one is for those who betray their cities, named Antenora, because of that douchebag who sold Troy away. The third one is Ptolomaea, which is reserved for those who betray their guests. The last one, Judeca, where the worst betrayers suffer, those who betrayed God. There, in the middle, is Lucifer, who has three heads, each one eating a different person. One eats Brutus, the other Cassius, the assassins of Julius Caesar, and the middle head eats Judas Iscariot. 


             After seeing all of this fucked up shit, Dante decided to stop eating all those shrooms, climbed up the devil's back, and finally made it out of the Inferno, now seeing Mount Purgatory in front of him. That's where the book of Inferno ends. I shall do a (shorter) review of Purgatory when I finish with that book. Until then, try not to sin, won't ya? You don't want to end up like any one of those sad fuckers up there. 

Dante, before writing his poem.