Characters and Creatures of Inferno Essay

Characters and Creatures of Inferno Essay

Length: 1468 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Characters and Creatures of Inferno
Throughout Dante's terrifying quest into the depths of Inferno he encounters many mythological characters and creatures. The legendary characters that Dante borrows from the Greek mythology are punished in his hell for deceiving others and succumbing to the excitement of passion, amongst them are Dido, Odysseus, Achilles, Paris and Helen, Tristan and Sinon. The mythical monsters oversee these damned souls. These imaginary creatures are of central importance to Dante’s journey and to the narrative, as they not only challenge his presence in Inferno, but also are guardians of Hell, judging and punishing the souls. As well, they represent important themes in the Inferno, and are interpretations of important symbols. The mythological characters are vital in this epic poem, as they are not only used as important metaphors, but also keep the Inferno going.
Dante first comes in contact with the mythological characters in the second circle of Hell. This section is populated with those who could not deny the temptation of passion, and surrendered themselves to the desires of the flesh. They are eternally swept around an uncontrollable wind just like they “…abandoned themselves to the tempest of their passions” (57). Amongst them is the Queen of Carthage, Dido, who was manipulated by the gods to fall in love with Aeneas. She allowed passion to consume her so much that she could no longer live after Aeneas left. Her punishment would have also been appropriate of those who committed suicide in Canto XIII, but since her sin was driven by love Dante placed her with the Carnal. Here is also Tristan, a legendary knight of Kind Arthur’s Round Table who had an affair with an Irish princess, Iseult who was ar...


... middle of paper ...


...tim because that is when the deceitful reveal their true intentions, just like Geryon’s tail appeared to be that of a poisonous scorpion.
Dante used many mythological characters and creature in the Inferno, and he has even altered some to make them fit perfectly into the narrative. These characters are not only used as Greek legendaries, but they also depict symbolism and add depth to the poem. The mythical creatures are eternal torturers, and punishers of sinners who chose not to follow the right path. They challenge Dante’s presence, and become more and more difficult to persuade as Dante gets deeper into circles of hell. The inclusion of these mythological characters and creatures is vital to the Inferno as they not only express the influence of other works on Inferno, but also his own brilliant creativity and originality.
















Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Epic Of Beowulf And Dante 's Inferno Essay

- The Beowulf and Dante 's Inferno are both epic poems which are still widely read, and in both works, the protagonist experiences a journey. In most ways, however, these two poems and these two journeys are nothing alike. These to text are based on a hero’s journey but they have a couple of things that aren’t the same. A hero’s journey describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Inferno, Epic poetry, Virgil]

Powerful Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

Dante 's Inferno, By Dante And The King Of Hell Essay

- Frozen Wings and Deceit Though there are countless disturbing moments throughout Dante’s Inferno, one can dare to say that Canto 34 is the most unsettling and borderline irreverent Canto in Inferno. In Canto 34, Dante and Virgil meet the sinners who are deemed to be the most evil; those who have betrayed their benefactors (the individuals who extended their kindness towards them.) It is also the canto where Dante meets Satan, the king of hell. Dante opens Canto 34 with a sentence in Latin that reads: “Vexilla, regis prodeunt inferni.” In translator Mandelbaum’s notes, the words are said to mean: “The banners of the king of Hell draw closer.” At first glance, the reader might dismiss the fac...   [tags: Jesus, God, Divine Comedy, Devil]

Powerful Essays
1940 words (5.5 pages)

Setting Vs Story - Dantes Inferno And Sartres No Exit Essay

- This essay is on setting differences using the works of Dante's The Inferno and Jean Paul Sartre's No Exit.Adam looks about spotting all the important people that will influence the rest of his life. He takes a deep breath and prepares to make this his last and final addition to life. Quietly he draws back from the church as if to stop time, this moment may define him as a man. He turns to look at the priest as if to reply his answer, but suddenly he realizes the hand he is holding is as cold as death....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1368 words (3.9 pages)

Characters Of ' Monster ' By Mary Shelley 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay example

- The idea of “monster” is an enduring one that has remained a constant in popular culture through successive generations. There are many different interpretations and definitions of what traits separate man from monster, these traits generally include a large, ugly, and frightening physical appearance, and/or being inhumanly cruel or wicked. In fictional texts that discuss monsters, these traits usually come together in one character, an example being Caliban from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. However, other texts, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, portray characters who arguably show only one of these monstrous traits, which in turn calls to question what truly makes monsters of men....   [tags: Morality, Human, Personal life, The Tempest]

Powerful Essays
1939 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Dante 's ' The Inferno Of Dante '

- In the epic poem of The Inferno of Dante, we are introduced to the protagonist Dante, who travels through nine circles of hell along with his “master” Virgil. This journey reveals all the depths of hell as a poem retold by Dante himself. After a quick recap of the poem in a greater detail you will soon see the many unanswered questions this book poses. The poem begins with Dante wandering through the woods pondering the rights and wrongs of life. While walking through the woods Dante becomes threatened by creatures blocking his path, but then a dead poet, he admires named Virgil comes to rescue him....   [tags: Hell, Divine Comedy, Virgil, Inferno]

Powerful Essays
1575 words (4.5 pages)

Analysis Of ' On The Inferno ' Essay example

- Inferno is the first and most famous of a three part series by Dante Alighieri known as the Divine Comedy that describes his journey to God through the levels of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise written in the early fourteenth century. Scholars spanning over nearly seven centuries have praised its beauty and complexity, unmatched by any other medieval poem. Patrick Hunt’s review, “On the Inferno,” states, “Dante’s extensive use of symbolism and prolific use of allegory— even in incredible anatomical detail—have been often plumbed as scholars have explored the gamut of his work’s classical, biblical, historical, and contemporary political significance” (9)....   [tags: Divine Comedy, Inferno, Dante Alighieri, Hell]

Powerful Essays
1273 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The Role and Function of the Major Monsters in Dante’s Inferno

- In Dante’s Inferno, throughout the epic journey of the character Dante into the depth of Hell, he encounters a number of beasts and monsters as he passes along the way, especially through the seven stations of the greatest monsters of Hell. The most significant of these seven major monsters is of central importance to the character Dante’s journey as well as to the narrative, for these monsters not only challenge the presence of the character Dante in Hell, but they are also the important custodians of Hell....   [tags: Dante’s Inferno Essays]

Powerful Essays
1944 words (5.6 pages)

Francesca's Style in Canto V of Dante's Inferno Essay

- Francesca's Style in Canto V of Dante's Inferno Canto V of Dante's Inferno begins and ends with confession. The frightening image of Minos who «confesses» the damned sinners and then hurls them down to their eternal punishment contrasts with the almost familial image of Francesca and Dante, who confess to one another. In a real sense confession seems to be defective or inadequate in Hell. The huddled masses who declare their sins to Minos do so because they are compelled to declare or make manifest in speech the character of their offenses and although they confess everything (each soul «tutta si confessa», v....   [tags: Inferno]

Powerful Essays
5050 words (14.4 pages)

Dante's Inferno Essay

- Summary 1. The sin is excessive hoarding and excessive spending. The contrapasso is that they have to push heavy weights with their chests around in half circles. This represents the constant burden of material wealth held over these sinners during their lives. In this way, yes, the punishment fits the crime. (Gallagher) 2. Dante names no specific residents of Circle 4, but he notes that many of them are bald as they were the priests, popes, and cardinals who worked for the money and fame as opposed to for God....   [tags: Dante, Inferno Essays]

Free Essays
1172 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Inferno

- The Inferno by Dante is a story of a mans voyages through the treacherous depths of hell. Dante is a man who has strayed from the path of a catholic way of life. Now he needs to travel through hell to reach the virtuous path that will take him to heaven. He is guided through hell by a man who is in limbo, the first circle of hell, named Virgil. Virgil takes him through hell and shows him people suffering for the sins that they have committed. Together they travel through the nine different stages of hell observing who is in each stage, what there punishment is, and what sins they committed to get there....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
893 words (2.6 pages)