Symbols and Themes in the inferno - Dante's Inferno
THE THREE CREATURES
THE GATES OF HELL
The Three Beasts represent the Worldliness that Dante is trying to escape from, especially in his bitterness of his exile. His spiritual path of righteousness is blocked by these three hideous beings, and he needs Human Reason (Virgil) to save him and help him around this path of turmoil into spiritual reconcile with God. Dante’s exile are his darkest days, and he is having difficulty finding the meaning of his exile to God’s greater plan.
Sin leads to woe, to being forsaken, to eternal sorrow. Hell itself has existed before man, and will exist forever because the punishment of sin can never end. Therefore, all souls who enter (except for those on a heavenly errand, like Dante) should abandon any hope of return; Hell is eternal. Their chance to be “good” people ended with their deaths; there is no going back to change anything.
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE
Dante personally admired Virgil’s work, and saw him as a voice of reason in a godless world that had not yet seen the blessing of Christianity. Therefore, he calls upon Virgil to be his guide through the many sights he will see and experience. Virgil’s explanations will reflect Human Reason, and will escort Dante until Divine Love can take over. Dante is saying that Human Reason can only get a person so far on their spiritual journey, and Divine Love, will have to take the person the rest of the way.
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