Book Review Dante The Inferno Canto 3

Photo taken by me - skulls at Satan's Hollow night club, Manchester
Preston, England
January 20, 2016 3:36am CST
The third verse opens with the story’s most famous line, about abandoning all hope in favour of despair as you cross the threshold into Hell itself. Dante and the ghost of Virgil see the warning on a faded sign over a portal entrance. After reflecting on the grim message they hold hands and enter anyway. They hear pitiful cries and moans in a realm of total darkness. Dante realizes the sounds are not from anyone human, and Virgil explains that they are from lamenting angels who are being punished for putting themselves before God. Their main suffering is knowing that they will never see God or Paradise again, hence the total darkness that embodies their despair. They are equally denied full entry into Hell as Satan wouldn’t want them taking away his glory as the supreme fallen angel. They are denied attention or names by both God and the Devil. Though advised not to look at the dammed as the light improves, Dante espies a flag of truce and sees a group of naked wretches being perpetually stung by wasps, with worms licking up the blood that spills from their sores. These are the spirits of angels deemed too abhorrent to be granted a place to settle with either God or Satan. These angels chose to be pacifists and neutrals in the war between God and Satan. This is their fate for their indecisiveness. Neither side cares one jot about their suffering. Dante and his ghostly guiding Greek poet friend reach the river Acheron (The Styx). The Ferryman Charon expresses his contempt for the dead men he must take to their hells until he realizes that these two are alive. He wants to know why they are coming to Hell in a living state but Virgil tells him not to ask. The heroes watch Charon transport a boatful of the dammed across the river before he returns to ferry them over, with the dammed cursing them from jealousy of Dante’s on-going life. Charon returns to ferry Dante and Virgil across. As they near the opposite shore, the Earth quakes and jets of molten volcanic flame erupt forth. Dante is so shocked that he faints in the boat. Barely underway and the narrative is unbearably grim & graphic already. Arthur Chappell
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3 responses
@LadyDuck (109148)
• Switzerland
20 Jan 16
"Lasciate ogni speranza oh voi ch'entrate"! The Inferno is the best part of the "Divina Commedia". I am reading right now "Inferno" by Dan Brown. Very well focused on the verses of Dante Alighieri.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
20 Jan 16
@LadyDuck oh right, he's obviously drawing strongly on the text of the poetry
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@TRBRocks420 (57249)
• Banks, Oregon
20 Jan 16
Very scary story. I remember hearing something about it a long time ago.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
20 Jan 16
it is pretty terrifying stuff
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@celticeagle (111685)
• Boise, Idaho
20 Jan 16
I would have so many problems with this story. Being an atheist and all.