Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy in popular culture

The works of Dante Alighieri – particularly the Divine Comedy, widely considered his masterpiece – have been a source of inspiration for various artists since their publications in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Some notable examples are listed below.

Dante of Erminio Blotta, at Bd. Oroño, Rosario

Sculpture [ edit ]

  • Auguste Rodin's sculptural group, The Gates of Hell, draws heavily on the Inferno. The component sculpture, Paolo and Francesca, represents Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta, whom Dante meets in Canto 5.[1] The version of this sculpture known as The Kiss shows the book that Paolo and Francesca were reading. Other component sculptures include Ugolino and his children (Canto 33) and The Shades, who originally pointed to the phrase "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'entrate" ("Abandon all hope, ye who enter here") from Canto 3.[1] Sculptures of Grief and Despair cannot be assigned to particular sections of the Inferno, but are in keeping with the overall theme. The famous component sculpture The Thinker, near the top of the gate, may represent Dante himself.[1] Like The Kiss, it was also produced as an independent work.

Visual arts [ edit ]

Architecture [ edit ]

Literature [ edit ]

  • In 1373, a little more than half a century after Dante's death, the Florentine authorities softened their attitude to him and decided to establish a Department for the study of the Divine Comedy. Her Dean was appointed Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) and sponsored its organization. Heading the Department, from October 1373. In January 1374, Boccaccio wrote and gave a course of lectures on Comedy.
    • In addition, Boccaccio is belonged by the work Origine, vita e costumi di Dante Alighieri (the second name – Trattatello in laude di Dante), describing the biography of Dante in an apologetic spirit.[7]
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400) is responsible for a number of translations and adaptations of, and explicit references to, Dante's work.[8]
    • "A Complaynt to His Lady," an early short poem, is written in terza rima, the rhyme scheme Dante invented for the Comedy.
    • Anelida and Arcite ends with a "compleynt" by Anelida, the lover jilted by Arcite; the compleynt begins with the phrase "So thirleth with the poynt of remembraunce" and ends with "Hath thirled with the poynt of remembraunce," copied from Purgatory 12.32, "la punctura di la rimembranza."
    • The House of Fame, a dream vision in three books in which the narrator is guided through the heavens by an otherworldly guide, has been described as a parody of the Comedy. The narrator echoes Inferno 2.32 in the poem (2.588–92).
    • The Monk's Tale from The Canterbury Tales describes (in greater and more emphatic detail) the plight of Count Ugolino (Inferno, cantos 32 and 33), referring explicitly to Dante's original text in 7.2459–62.
    • The beginning of the last stanza of Troilus and Criseyde (5.1863-65) is modelled on Paradiso 12.28–30.[9]
  • John Milton finds various uses for Dante, whose work he knew well:[10]
    • Milton refers to Dante's insistence on the separation of worldly and religious power in Of Reformation, where he cites Inferno 19.115–117.
    • Beatrice's condemnation of corrupt and neglectful preachers, Paradiso 29.107–9 ("so that the wretched sheep, in ignorance, / return from pasture, having fed on wind") is translated and adapted in Lycidas 125–26, "The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed, / But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw," when Milton condemns corrupt clergy.
  • The title of Honoré de Balzac's work La Comédie humaine (the "Human Comedy," 1815–1848) is usually considered a conscious adaptation of Dante's.,[11] whilst Dante himself features as a character in the 1831 novel Les Proscrits from that work.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who translated the Divine Comedy into English, also wrote a poem titled "Mezzo Cammin" ("Halfway," 1845), alluding to the first line of the Comedy,[12] and a sonnet sequence (of six sonnets) under the title "Divina Commedia" (1867), published as flyleaves to his translation.[13]
  • Karl Marx uses a paraphrase of Purgatory (V, 13) to conclude the preface to the first edition of Das Kapital (1867), as a kind of motto: "Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti" ("follow your own road, and let the people talk").[14]
  • Lesya Ukrainka's poem "The Forgotten Shadow" (1898) is a feminist reinterpretation of Dante and Beatrice. The forgotten shadow in the poem is Gemma Donati, Aligheri's wife.
  • In E. M. Forster's novel Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), the character of Gino Carella, upon first introducing himself, quotes the first lines of Inferno[15] (the novel includes several references to Dante's La Vita Nuova as well).[16]
  • T. S. Eliot cites Inferno, XXVII, 61–66, as an epigraph to "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915).[17] Eliot cites heavily from and alludes to Dante in Prufrock and Other Observations (1917), Ara vus prec (1920), and The Waste Land (1922).[4]
  • First begun in 1916, Ezra Pound's Cantos take the Comedy as a model.[4]
  • Samuel Beckett in his non-fiction essay "Dante... Bruno. Vico.. Joyce", published in Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress (1929), compares Joyce's reassessments of the conventions of the English language to Dante's departure from Latin and synthesis of Italian dialects in the Divine Comedy.[18]
  • Turkish poetCahit Sıtkı Tarancı's famous poem "Otuz Beş Yaş" (lit. "Thirty Five Years") is beginning with the verses which contains a citation of Inferno: "Yaş otuz beş! Yolun yarısı eder / Dante gibi ortasındayız ömrün" ("Age thirty five! It is half of way / We are in the middle of life like Dante") won the Best Turkish Poem Prize in 1946.[19]
  • Primo Levi cites Dante's Divine Comedy in the chapter called "Canto of Ulysses" in his novel Se questo è un uomo (If This Is a Man) (1947), published in the United States as Survival in Auschwitz, and in other parts of this book; the fires of Hell are compared to the "real threat of the fires of the crematorium."[20]
  • Malcolm Lowry paralleled Dante's descent into hell with Geoffrey Firmin's descent into alcoholism in his epic novel Under the Volcano (1947). In contrast to the original, Lowry's character explicitly refuses grace and "chooses hell," though Firmin does have a Dr. Vigil as a guide (and his brother, Hugh Firmin, quotes the Comedy from memory in ch. 6).[21]
  • Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote extensively about Dante,[4][22] included two short texts in his Dreamtigers (El Hacedor, 1960): "Paradiso, XXXI, 108" and "Inferno, I, 32," which paraphrase and comment on Dante's lines.[23][24]
  • Poet Derek Walcott, in 1949, publishes Epitaph for the Young: XII Cantos, which he later acknowledged as deliberately influenced by Dante.[4]
  • James Merrill published his Divine Comedies, a collection of poetry, in 1976; a selection in that volume, "The Book of Ephraim", consists "of conversations held, via the Ouija board, with dead friends and spirits in 'another world.'"[25]
  • Authors Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle wrote a modern sequel to the Inferno, Inferno (1976), in which a science fiction author dies during a fan convention and finds himself in Hell, where Benito Mussolini functions as his guide. They wrote a subsequent sequel to their own work, Escape from Hell (2009).[26][27]
  • Gloria Naylor's Linden Hills (1985) uses Dante's Inferno as a model for the trek made by two young black poets who spend the days before Christmas doing odd jobs in an affluent African American community. The young men soon discover the price paid by the inhabitants of Linden Hills for pursuing the American dream.[28]
  • Author Monique Wittig's Virgile, Non (published in English as Across the Acheron, 1985) is a lesbianfeminist retelling of the Divine Comedy set in the utopia/dystopia of second-wave feminism.
  • Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho (1991) begins with the words "Abandon all hope ye who enter here."[29]
  • The character of Beatrice in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is the deceased love of the narrator. She is an allusion to Beatrice Portinari.
  • The main characters of Stephen King's Wizard and Glass (1997) have to cross a door within a building reminiscent of the palace of the Wizard from the film The Wizard of Oz: "The sign on this door wasn't from the movie, and only Susannah knew it was from Dante. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here, it said".[30]
  • Mark E. Rogers used the structure of Dante's hell in his 1998 comedic novel Samurai Cat Goes to Hell (the last book in the Samurai Cat series), and includes a gate to hell whose inscription reads "YOU'VE HAD YOUR FUN / YOU'VE MADE YOUR BED / YOU'RE BOUND FOR HELL / NOW THAT YOU'RE DEAD / ABANDON ALL HOPE YE THAT ENTER HERE."[31]
  • Irish poet Seamus Heaney publishes a poem on the front page of the Irish Times (18 January 2000) that begins with a translation of Paradiso 33.58–61.[32]
  • The Amber Spyglass (2000) by Philip Pullman includes several references to Dante's vision of hell, including the concept of Harpies, an ascent along the flinty steps in the Eighth Circle of Hell (Inferno, Canto XXVI); and the two main characters emerging from their experience of hell back onto the earth to look at the stars (last line of Inferno).
  • Nick Tosches's In The Hand of Dante (2002) weaves a contemporary tale about the finding of an original manuscript of the Divine Comedy with an imagined account of Dante's years composing the work.[33]
  • Inferno by Peter Weiss (written in 1964, published in 2003) is a play inspired by the Comedy, the first part of a planned trilogy.[34]
  • The Dante Club is a 2003 novel by Matthew Pearl that tells the story of various American poets translating The Divine Comedy in post-civil war Boston, who must also investigate murders being committed based on the punishments in the text, due to their desire to protect Dante's reputation and the fact that only they have the necessary expertise to understand the murderer's motivations.[33]
  • In 2004 and 2005, Giulio Leoni publishes two crime novels, I delitti del mosaico and I delitti della luce respectively, in which Dante is an investigator.[33]
  • Óscar Esquivias in his trilogy of novels Inquietud en el Paraíso (2005), La ciudad del Gran Rey (2006) and Viene la noche (2007) shows his personal vision of Dante's Divine Comedy.[35]
  • Pope Benedict XVI said that part of his first encyclical, Deus caritas est (2006), was inspired by Canto XXXIII of Paradise.[36]
  • In the novel The Tenth Circle (2006) by Jodi Picoult, the main character's comic strip, The Tenth Circle, is based on the Inferno [37]
  • Dante himself is a character in The Master of Verona (2007), a novel by David Blixt that combines the people of Dante's time with the characters of Shakespeare's Italian plays.[38]
  • Wayne Barlowe's book, Barlowe's Inferno (1998), containing paintings of Hell and an accompanying narrative, is partially inspired by Dante's Inferno.
  • S.A. Alenthony's novel The Infernova is a parody of the Inferno as seen from an atheist's perspective, with Mark Twain acting as the guide.[39]
  • Dan Brown's Robert Langdon thriller Inferno was inspired by Dante's The Divine Comedy. It was released on May 14, 2013.

Films and television [ edit ]

Films [ edit ]

Television [ edit ]

  • Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother (2010) recites part of the Divine Comedy in episode 22 of the 5th season.
  • Various episodes of Mad Men refer to Dante's levels of Purgatory and Hell:
    • When Don and Betty separate, Don moves to a furnished apartment on "Waverly and Sixth" (as he tells the cab driver in the Season 4 episode, "The Summer Man"). In "The Summer Man", Don works to curtail his alcoholism, which according to the Inferno, would place him on the third circle, reserved for the gluttonous who over-emphasized food, drink, and bodily comforts.[40]
    • Mad Men's season six premiere, "The Doorway", features Don Draper reading the Inferno while lying on a Hawaiian beach with his wife. It is later shown the book was given to him by a woman with whom Don is having an affair (the wife of his friend and downstairs neighbor, Dr. Rosen).
  • The 2005 4th season of the BBC drama series Messiah: The Harrowing focuses on a serial killer who takes inspiration from Inferno to punish his or her victims.
  • Various episodes of The Sopranos refer to Dante's circles of Hell. For example:
    • In "Whoever Did This" (2002), a TV journalist reports how a boom microphone accidentally knocked Uncle Junior down "nine, no seven" steps at the courthouse where Junior's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act trial was being held.
    • In "Join the Club" (2006), Tony has a recurring coma-dream in which he checks into Room 728 (i.e., level seven) at the Omni hotel in Costa Mesa, using the identity of non-mafia civilian Kevin Finnerty. When the hotel elevator is out of commission, Tony descends a red staircase, slips, and falls to level five. Tony's surgeon, Dr. Plepler, tells Tony's wife, sisters and daughter they're lucky Tony's at a Level 1 trauma center. (Level one is Limbo[41]).
  • In season 4, episode 7, of Supernatural ("It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester"), Sam uses a book whose text – shown briefly onscreen – is the text from the original Wikipedia article on Inferno. An accompanying illustration portrays Dante's conception of Hell.
  • The insurance appraiser in the Season 5 episode "Basic Story" of Community recites from "Paradiso", xvii.58 as he climbs the short staircase in the entrance of Greendale Community College: "And you shall find that salt is the taste of another man's bread, and hard is the way up and down another man's stairs."
  • In the tenth season of Criminal Minds, the case in the second episode, "Burn", tracks the actions of a serial killer whose crimes are inspired by the punishment in each circle of Hell.
  • In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit season 13 episode "Theatre Tricks", Dante's Inferno was the chosen play of an interactive theatre group where an actress ended up raped on stage during the Second Circle (Lust).
  • In the seventh season of Arrow, the terrorist organization Ninth Circle is named after the Divine Comedy. In addition, the organization's top members (Dante, Beatrice and Virgil) take their names from the poem.
  • In the last episode of the thirteenth season of CSI: Crime Scene Invesitgation ("Skin in the Game") and the story continuing in the first episode of the next season ("The Devil and D.B. Russell") the bad guy imitates the depiction of the nine circles of hell as found in a 16th-century version of Dante's Inferno.[42]

Music [ edit ]

  • In Claudio Monteverdi's 1607 opera L'Orfeo, the title character is bombarded with the famous line "Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch'entrate"[43] as he attempts to enter the underworld.
  • Franz Liszt's Symphony to Dante's Divina Commedia (completed 1856) has two movements: "Inferno" and "Purgatorio." A concluding "Magnificat" is included at the end of the "Purgatorio" movement and replaces the planned third movement, which was to be called "Paradiso" (Liszt was dissuaded by Richard Wagner from his original plan). Liszt also composed a Dante Sonata (started 1837, completed 1849).
  • Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky's 1876 Francesca da Rimini (subtitled "Symphonic Fantasy After Dante") is a symphonic poem based on an episode in the fifth canto of the Inferno.
  • Giacomo Puccini's 1918 one-act opera Gianni Schicchi is drawn from a brief reference to the title character in the Inferno.
  • Henry Barraud's cantata for five voices and 15 instruments, La divine comédie, based on Dante's text and composed in 1972.
  • The name of the early 1980s Minimal Electronic band Nine Circles originates from Dante's "Nine Circles of Hell".[44]
  • American metal band Anthrax, on their debut album Fistful of Metal, contains the song "Howling Furies". The opening line is "Abandon all hope for those who enter".[45]
  • Singer-songwriter Toni Childs' song "I've Got Many Rivers (to Cross)" refers obliquely to the five rivers of Hell as they appear in the Inferno.
  • F. M. Einheit of Einstürzende Neubauten and Andreas Ammer collaborated on an experimental recording called Radio Inferno, a radio play adaptation of the Comedy.
  • On his 1992 album Façanhas, Brazilian musician Arrigo Barnabé set the first 48 lines of the Inferno (translated to Portuguese by the famous poet Augusto de Campos) to music.
  • Tangerine Dream has released albums setting all the three parts of The Divine Comedy to music: Inferno is a recording of a live performance at the St Marien zu Bernau Cathedral in 2001, and Purgatorio and Paradiso are studio albums from 2004 and 2006 respectively.
  • The band Styx is named after the river of death found in Greek mythology and in Dante's Inferno.
  • Folk singer Loreena McKennitt's song "Dante's Prayer", the final track on her 1997 album The Book of Secrets, is based on Dante's work.
  • Canadian post-rock group As the Poets Affirm took their name from a passage in the Inferno.
  • Asaki's first album, Shinkyoku, is also the name of the Comedy in Japanese kanji.
  • In Weezer's album Make Believe, released May 10, 2005, there is hidden text in the pictures. The text reads "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita".
  • The song "Roll Right" on the album Evil Empire by Rage Against the Machine contains the refrain 'Send 'em to tha seventh level!' referencing the seventh circle (or level) of Hell, where the violent are held.
  • German Dark Electro band yelworC has made two albums of a trilogy based on the three canticas of the Divine Comedy, Trinity and Icolation.
  • Australian goth-electro band the Tenth Stage has a self-titled track (2006) that describes the singer's descent past the nine stages of Dante's poem to a 10th stage of Hell.
  • Technical death metal guitarist Fredrik Thordendal (from the Swedish Death metal band Meshuggah) used quotes from the Divine Comedy in the song "Dante's Wild Inferno" from his solo album Sol Niger Within.
  • The song "Canto IV (Limbo)" from Progressive music group Discipline's album Unfolded Like Staircase describes the sorrow of those souls whose never knew a deity.
  • New Jersey band The Gaslight Anthem referenced the Comedy in their song "The Navesink Banks" from the album Sink or Swim with the opening line, "All hope abandoned, ye who enter here".
  • Italian progressive rock band Metamorfosi has released two concept albums based on the Divine Comedy, Inferno (in 1972) and Paradiso (2004).
  • Dante's work provided a name for the Irish band The Divine Comedy (1989)
  • The video for Depeche Mode song "Walking In My Shoes" (1993), directed by Anton Corbijn, was inspired by the Comedy.
  • Milla Jovovich's 1994 debut album was called The Divine Comedy.
  • Metal band Iced Earth's album Burnt Offerings (1995) contains the epic song "Dante's Inferno".
  • Norwegian black metal band Ancient's second album The Cainian Chronicle (1996) contains the song "At the Infernal Portal (Canto III)".
  • Zao refer to the Divine Comedy on their 1999 album Liberate Te Ex Inferis, covering the first five circles of the Inferno.
  • Punk singer Mike Watt's third solo album, The Secondman's Middle Stand (2004), is a concept album that derives its structure from The Divine Comedy.
  • The fifth song, "I Found Away", on American punk rock band Alkaline Trio's sixth album, Agony & Irony, includes the opening lines of The Divine Comedy read by English musician Douglas P.
  • The first song on metal band Decadence's debut album (2005), "Wrathfull and Sullen", is inspired by the fifth level of Hell.
  • Robert W. Smith's The Divine Comedy (CD, 2006) is a four-movement symphony for wind ensemble that depicts four stages of Dante's journey in a tone poem-like symphonic structure. The movements are "The Inferno", "Purgatorio", "The Ascension", and "Paradiso."
  • Indie band Murder By Death's album In Bocca al Lupo (2006) is a concept album partially based on the poem.
  • Thrash metal band Sepultura's tenth album, Dante XXI (2006), is based on The Divine Comedy.
  • Professor Fate's album Inferno (2007) was inspired by the Comedy.
  • Dutch composer Louis Andriessen's 2008 film opera in five parts La Commedia incorporates texts from Vondel and the Old Testament, in addition to The Divine Comedy. The five parts are "The City of Dis, or The Ship of Fools", "Racconto dall'Inferno", "Lucifer", "The Garden of Delights", and "Luce Etterna".[46]
  • American composer Daniel Bukvich composed a three-movement suite called (Divina Comedia) in 2009, for choir and mixed percussion.
  • The Finnish progressive rock magazine Colossus and Musea records produced three multi-disc boxsets dedicated to each of the canticas of the Divine ComedyInferno (2008), Purgatorio (2009) and Paradiso (2010) – with the participation of several bands such as Yesterdays, Little Tragedies, Nathan Mahl and Phideaux.
  • Finnish gothic rock band HIM reference Dante's Inferno in the song "Sleepwalking Past Hope" from their 2007 album Venus Doom.
  • Austrian gothic metal band Dreams of Sanity's album Komödia is partially based on The Divine Comedy.
  • American hardcore punk band AFI has a song on their fourth album whose chorus uses a line from the Inferno: "Beyond and to all time I stand"
  • American post-hardcore band Alesana's fourth album, A Place Where the Sun Is Silent, is primarily based on the Inferno.
  • Mexican death metal band Transmetal released El Infierno de Dante in 1993. It was also released as Dante's Inferno in an English version of the album.
  • Laudi alla Vergine Maria is Movement 3, for women's voices, of Giuseppe Verdi's Quattro Pezzi Sacri (Four Sacred Pieces,[47] 1888). The text is taken from the opening lines of Canto 33 of Paradiso.[48]
  • "We Beheld Once Again the Stars" by acclaimed American choral composer Z. Randall Stroope is a work for unaccompanied choir with four voices.[49] The text is taken from Canto 34 of Inferno, describing the dramatic ascent from Hell as night approaches ("Ma la notte risurge...") and concluding with the final lines of the Canto: "Quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle."
  • Italian power metal band Luca Turilli's Rhapsody's first album Ascending to Infinity includes a song titled "Dante's Inferno".
  • British rapper and saxophonist Soweto Kinch's album The Legend of Mike Smith is based on the Inferno, and includes songs named for the nine circles of hell.
  • American progressive metal band Symphony X's 2015 album Underworld is based on the Inferno.
  • South Korean rapper and songwriter G-Dragon's Kwon Ji Yong (2017), has an outro track titled "Divina Commedia", inspired by Dante's book of the same name.
  • Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps' 2015 show "Inferno" is based on Dante's work and uses a quote from the Inferno, "Abandon all hope ye who enter here," which is both chanted by corps members and displayed on a tarp carried by the color guard.

Radio shows [ edit ]

In the fourth series of Bleak Expectations, the second episode spoofs Dante's Inferno. The underworld is depicted as a resting place for all souls before they enter their respective heavens or hells. Pip is guided through the underworld by Virgil Grimpunch when he goes there to bring her soul back after going into a near death experience while in Parliament. He finds her in Elysium with Achilles.

Inferno Revisited, a modernised interpretation of Dante written by Peter Howell, was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 17 April 1983.

Between March and April 2014, the BBC adapted The Divine Comedy for Radio 4, starring Blake Ritson and John Hurt playing younger and older versions of Dante.

Animations, comics, and graphic novels [ edit ]

(alphabetical by title)

  • In the 1946 Merrie Melodies cartoon Book Revue, starring Daffy Duck, the Big Bad Wolf falls into the Hell depicted in Dante's Inferno after hearing Frank Sinatra singing.
  • Dave Sim's sequel series to his comic Cerebus, Cerebus in Hell, satirically utilizes Gustave Doré's engravings for the Divine Comedy as backgrounds and plot devices.
  • In the manga series Cesare (2005) by Fuyumi Soryo the Divine Comedy and the friendship between Alighieri and Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor, is discussed at length.
  • The short animation, Dante's Hell Animated (2014), featuring Eric Roberts as Dante, is based on Dino di Durante's original paintings of Dante's Inferno.
  • Dante's Inferno: The Graphic Novel (2012) by Joseph Lanzara utilizes the 1857 illustrations by Gustave Doré from Dante's Divine Comedy in the form of a comic book inspired by the poem.[50]
  • The main antagonists of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist and anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood are seven homunculi, each named after one of the Seven Deadly Sins with the exception of Father. There were originally eight, but Greed defected due to his avarice. In addition, Lust is killed when Mustang incinerates her beyond her ability to regenerate using flame alchemy, a direct reference to Purgatorio.
    • The main antagonist of the first anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist is a woman named Dante, who controls the homunculi. They also suffer deaths or injuries similar to the punishment associated with the terrace each is named after. The Gate in this series is visually represented by Auguste Rodin's sculpture The Gates of Hell.
  • Eagle-eyed viewers of Code Geass R2's first episode may have spotted that Lelouch is reading Dante's Divina Commedia (Purgatorio Canto XXII) while Rollo gives him a lift.[51]
  • In an episode of the animated comedy series Futurama titled "Hell is Other Robots" (1999), the character Bender is dragged to robot hell, the entrance of which is hidden in an abandoned carnival ride called "Inferno". In a musical sequence, the levels of Hell are described, each level complete with ironic punishments.
  • IDW Publishing's Godzilla in Hell miniseries has Godzilla finding himself in Hell after accidentally destroying the planet in a battle with SpaceGodzilla and rampaging his way through the levels to find a way out, destroying the "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here" sign with his atomic breath, battling demons and manifestations of familiar monsters representing various sins, and turning a version of the Mount of Purgatory made up of monster parts into a battlefield between the forces of Heaven and Hell that want to recruit Godzilla into their ranks.
  • Jimbo in Purgatory: being a mis-recounting of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy in pictures and un-numbered footnotes, a 33-page graphic novel by Gary Panter, an adaptation of Dante's Purgatorio (melded with Boccaccio's Decameron and a bit of Canterbury Tales, John Milton, John Dryden, and pop culture references).[3][4]
  • DC/Vertigo Comics' Kid Eternity (which premiered in Hit Comics #25, published by Quality Comics in December 1942), in which Kid and his companion Jerry Sullivan travel to a Dante-inspired Hell to free a partner of Kid's. The structure of the comic also draws features from Dante's Inferno.
  • DC/Vertigo Comics's Lucifer, based on characters from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, features aspects of a Dante-inspired Hell and Heaven, particularly the Primum Mobile and the Nine Sections of Hell.
  • Mickey's Inferno is a comic book adaptation written by Guido Martina and drawn by Angelo Bioletto featuring Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck published by the then-Italian Disney comic book licensee Mondadori in the monthly Topolino from Oct. 1949 to March 1950. An English-language version appeared in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #666 (March 2006).
  • Norm Feuti referenced the Inferno in his comic strip Retail on December 8, 2007; Cooper places a plague with inscription "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" over the stockroom door.[52]
  • Manga series Saint Seiya (1986), during the "Hades Inferno" arc, has many characters and structures of Hell based on the circles of Dante, where they're called the Nine Prisons.
  • An issue of the first volume of comic book adaptations of Star Trek by DC Comics, "Hell in a Handbasket", involves Captain Kirk and his crew being subjected to a telepathic hallucination of Hell, as described in The Divine Comedy, when an ill telepath who was recently reading the book generates an illusion that turns the entire Enterprise- save for the bridge, due to its distance from him - into Hell, forcing the senior staff to descend through a Hell populated by crew members who have subconsciously 'judged' themselves to find the telepath so that Spock can mind-meld with him and restore his sense of reality.
  • Ty Templeton parodied Dante in his Stig's Inferno (1985-1986).
  • Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comic series features a heavily Dante-inspired Hell, including the Wood of Suicides, the Malebolge, and the City of Dis. Lucifer is also imprisoned in Hell.
  • The visual novel and anime series Umineko no Naku Koro ni contains several elements from the Divine Comedy, including two characters named Beatrice (as the Golden Witch), Virgilia (as the Endless Witch) and the Stakes (Seven Deadly Sins).
    • The anime adaptation has an ending theme entitled La Divina Tragedia ~Makyoku~, named after the title La Divina Comedia. "Makyoku" is the opposite of "Shinkyoku", Divine Comedy's Japanese title.
  • The fourth Uncanny X-Men Annual, "Nightcrawler's Inferno", chronicles the descent of Doctor Strange and the X-Men into a facsimile of Hell based on Dante's Inferno, to rescue Nightcrawler from an illusion created by his adopted mother, who blames him for the death of his adopted brother (unaware of the fact that Nightcrawler only killed his brother because the other man had become a murderer).[53]
  • In Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 5, Calcabrina brainwashes the staff of the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning.
  • The Cartoon Network's miniseries Over the Garden Wall has been noted to correspond to the structure of the Inferno, as well as starring a lost poet guided by a woman named Beatrice.[54]
  • In the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Serpent's Pass", Aang and his friends find an inscription at the pillar of the bridge saying "Abandon hope."
  • The anime series Sin Nanatsu no Taizai incorporates several elements from the Divine Comedy, including Cocytus (episode 1), the inscription on the gates (episode 9) and a reenactment of Dante's journey to the lowest level of Hell.

Games [ edit ]

  • Pandemonium, the highest-level zone in the Anarchy Online expansion Shadowlands, is split into four parts, each named after one of the four parts of the Ninth Circle.
  • Bayonetta contains multiple references to the Divine Comedy. For instance, Rodin, one of Bayonetta's allies, owns a weapons shop and bar named "The Gates of Hell" and is named after the sculptor Auguste Rodin, who sculpted a statue based on Inferno called The Gates of Hell. The world of Bayonetta contains three realms named after locations from the Comedy: "Purgatorio", "Paradiso" and "Inferno."
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow feature several spear-wielding flying demons named after the Malebranche: Cagnazzo, Scarmaglione, Rubicant, Draghignazzo, Barbariccia and Malacoda. Rubicant and Scarmaglione are mistranslated as "Lubicant" and "Skull Millione."
  • Beyond Software wrote Dante's Inferno in 1986 for the Commodore 64.
  • Dante's Inferno is a 2010 action-adventure video game developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. The game was also developed by Artificial Mind and Movement for release on the PlayStation Portable. The story is loosely based on Dante's Inferno.
  • In Day of the Tentacle, when a player plays as Bernard, he can tell the novelty goods salesman that he looks like Dante Alighieri.
  • In Descent II, the first level is titled "Ahayweh Gate," an acronym for the words at the gate of Hell, "All Hope Abandon Ye Who Enter Here."
  • In the game Devil May Cry, the protagonist's name is Dante, his brother is Vergil, and Dante's partner-in-crime's name is Trish, a derivative of the name Beatrice.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, a video game in the Devil May Cry series, is very loosely based on the Divine Comedy by the use of allusions, including the game's protagonist Dante, and other characters like Vergil and Cerberus. Many of the enemies are named after the seven deadly sins, such as "Hell Pride" or "Hell Lust."
  • In Devil May Cry 4, when the player dies the screen will shatter and read 'Abandon all hope...'. A portion titled 'The Ninth Circle' is designed around a massive statue of a devil. One of the characters in the game, Agnus, is named after the Agnus Dei, prayer for the Third Terrace of Purgatory in the Divine Comedy. Also the game has special mode where one of the protagonists must progress through 101 stages. On the Xbox 360 version the player receives a gaming achievement for every ten levels completed up to the ninth. These achievements are named after the nine circles of hell. The game's references to Dante's works go beyond the Divine Comedy, since the last mission is called La Vita Nuova.
  • In DmC Devil May Cry, Limbo City (named after the first circle of the Inferno) is the main location of the game's events. The city appears as a dreary landscape, but transforms into a twisted, chaotic parody of itself whenever Dante is caught in the sight of one of the city's demonic security cameras.
  • The third episode of the video game Doom, appropriately called Inferno, takes place in Hell, in such places as Limbo and Dis.
  • The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons named some levels of the Nine Hells after locations in Dante's Inferno. The game also borrowed the name "malebranche" for one diabolical race, although the original write-up mistranslated that word as "evil horn".[56]
    • The Planescape setting, in particular, borrows many elements from the book (some wholesale, some piecemeal), and much of the expanded cosmology, with dimensions for the dead based on alignment and most dimensions having many separate layers, are inspired by those seen in the Inferno.
    • The Supplement "To Hell and Back" from Role Aids features a 64-page booklet about hell based on Dante's Inferno.
  • The cross-genre role-playing game Shadowrun features Dante's Inferno as the most popular club in the Seattle metroplex. The club is nine stories tall and the bottommost floor is a private floor marked "Hell".
  • Europa Universalis 3 features advisors that the player hires to his court - the Philosopher's portrait is modeled after Dante.
  • In Fallout 3, there is a bar called "The 9th Circle" in the city of Underworld. The bar's bouncer is named Charon; a robot guarding the city is named Cerberus.
  • Final Fantasy IV features four Elemental Lords named Rubicante, Scarmiglione, Barbariccia, and Cagnazzo, after members of the Malebranche. A mid-game boss, Calcabrina, also has the name of a Malebranche demon. Also, there exists a superboss in the DS version named Geryon.
  • Final Fantasy V features yet another Malebranche, Farfarello.
  • Final Fantasy VI's final boss resembles a colossal mass of Satan entrapped to his waist (Hell), humans, animals and machinery (Purgatory), and a strange but yet angelic duo of celestial entities atop the totem of non-existence (Heaven), with the insane Kefka as the deity of magic and death flying above who tells the players that life is meaningless once they scale his tower of destruction. In the French localization of the series as a whole, the recurring summon Ifrit's ultimate attack is directly named after the Divine Comedy.
  • In Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, the final level takes place in Hell and is appropriately named "Lou's Inferno", a possible reference to Dante.
  • Halo 3: ODST contains many references to the poem. For example, the Rookie is called into Section Nine, which is very icy and cold, similar to the ninth ring of Hell. In addition, the player's guide through the end of the game is called Vergil. Further, there are characters in the game that correspond to each of the sins.
  • In the 1995 computer adaptation of Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, Dante's Divine Comedy is the book that contains a hidden mirror in the Lord's Bedroom in Ted's Scenario.
  • Pathways into Darkness features a level called "Lasciate Ogne Speranza, Voi Ch'Intrate", the phrase written above the gate of Hell in the original Italian version of the Inferno.
  • In Persona 3 FES, areas are called Malebolge, Cocytus, Caina, Antenora, Ptolomea, Judecca, and Empyrean.
  • The fifth act of Rainbow Six: Vegas takes place in a casino that is under construction called "Dante's". The first chapter is called "Hell's Gate".
  • The 2012 game Resident Evil: Revelations references Dante's Inferno extensively, as a bioterrorist organization, "Il Veltro", believes society has degraded into a living version of the nine circles. Verses of the poem are provided at the start of each level. A number of enemies in the game are named after the Malebranche also featured in the poem. The music in the final chapter has a choir eerily singing lines from Inferno, and the final boss actually quotes it before entering his chamber.
  • In Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation, Judecca, Levi Tolar's personal unit, uses attacks named after the four zones of the ninth circle of Hell.
  • In The Last Remnant, there is a boss that is loosely based on the Gates of Hell. The background music that plays while fighting this boss is also called "The Gates of Hell".
  • In 1999's Theme Park World, the advisor says, "Abandon hope all ye who enter here," at the start of Halloween World. This is a reference to Inferno.
  • In Wild Arms 2, there is a gang called Cocytus, whose members are named Caina, Antenora, Ptolomea, and Judecca.
  • In World of Warcraft, a sign before the entrance to Deadwind Pass states, "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here".
  • The trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh! released a series of cards known as "Burning Abyss". All cards in the series are based on the eighth circle of Hell and the Malebranche, including Dante, Virgil, and Beatrice.
  • In Animamundi: Dark Alchemist, the main character is guided through the nine circles of Hell towards the end of the game.

Digital arts and computer games [ edit ]

Digital arts [ edit ]

  • Inferno embedded operating system takes its name and the names of many of its components from the Divine Comedy, such the Dis virtual machine, its implementation of the 9P protocol (Styx), the main programming language Limbo, and the Charon web browser. This was because one of the authors was reading the Commedia while designing the system.[57]

Advertising [ edit ]

  • Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy appear in many ads, as the book Dante & la pubblicità (of Delio De Martino, Levante editori, Bari, 2013) displays. From late 1800 until today many Italian and foreign campaigns have used Dante's figure and his works. Some recent examples are the Telecom Italia mobile and Foxy spots.

Miscellaneous [ edit ]

  • Asteroid 2999 Dante is named after the poet, as is a lunar crater.[58]
  • Dante Alighieri Academy is a publicly funded Catholic high school in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Shortly after the launch of the Google Plus social network, McSweeney's published a piece called "Dante Alighieri's Google+ Circles".[59]
  • Above the door to The Daily Show studio is a sign which reads "Abandon all news, ye who enter here," a reference to the similar inscription on the gates of Hell in the Inferno.

See also [ edit ]

Notes [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b c Le Normand-Romain, Antoinette (1999). Rodin:The Gates of Hell. Paris: Musée Rodin. ISBN 2-901428-69-X.
  2. ^ "Botticelli's Designs". Renaissance Dante in Print (1472–1629). Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b c d e Havely, Nick (2007). Dante. Blackwell. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-631-22852-3.
  5. ^ "Guy Denning's online "Dante" project". Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
  6. ^ "Restauran el Palacio Barolo, una joya de la arquitectura". 2003-10-18. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  7. ^ Havely, Nick (2007). Dante. Blackwell. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-631-22852-3.
  8. ^ All Chaucer references in David Wallace, "Dante in English," in Jacoff, Rachel (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 237–58. ISBN 0-521-42742-8. 237–40.
  9. ^ Benson, Larry D. (1987). The Riverside Chaucer. Houghton Mifflin. pp. 1058. ISBN 0-395-29031-7.
  10. ^ All Milton references in David Wallace, "Dante in English," in Jacoff, Rachel (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 237–58. ISBN 0-521-42742-8. 241–44.
  11. ^ Robb, Graham. Balzac: A Life. New York: Norton, 1996. P. 330.
  12. ^ Axelrod, Steven Gould; Camille Roman; Thomas J. Travisano (2003). The New Anthology of American Poetry: Traditions and Revolutions, Beginnings to 1900. Rutgers UP. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-8135-3162-5.
  13. ^ Gary Scharnhorst, "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)," in Haralson, Eric L.; John Hollander (1998). Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century. Taylor & Francis. pp. 265–69. ISBN 978-1-57958-008-7. p. 269.
  14. ^ "Preface to the first edition"; Marx, Karl; Ben Fowkes; Ernest Mandel; David Fernbach (1976). Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Penguin Classics. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-14-044568-8.
  15. ^ Forster, E.M. (2008). Where Angels Fear to Tread. BiblioBazaar. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-554-68727-8.
  16. ^ Summers, Claude J. (1987). E.M. Forster. Frederick Ungar A Book. pp. 35. ISBN 978-0-8044-6893-0.
  17. ^ Fowlie, Wallace (1981). A Reading of Dante's Inferno. Chicago: U of Chicago P. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-226-25888-1.
  18. ^ Beckett, Samuel (1972). Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress. New Directions Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-811-20446-0.
  19. ^ Tarancı, Cahit Sıtkı (2015). Otuz Beş Yaş. Can Pub. ISBN 978-9755100173.
  20. ^ Schwarz, Daniel R. (2000). Imagining the Holocaust. Macmillan. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-0-312-23301-3.
  21. ^ Asals, Frederick (1997). The Making of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano. U of Georgia P. pp. 202, 231–32. ISBN 978-0-8203-1826-4.
  22. ^ Menocal, Maria Rosa (1991). Writing in Dante's Cult of Truth: From Borges to Boccaccio. Duke UP. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-8223-1117-1.
  23. ^ Borges, Jorge Luis; Mildred Boyer; Harold Morland; Miguel Enguídanos (1985). Dreamtigers. University of Texas Press. pp. 43, 50. ISBN 978-0-292-71549-3.
  24. ^ Ward, Philip (1978). The Oxford Companion to Spanish Literature. Clarendon Press. p. 265.
  25. ^ Vendler, Helen (1979-05-03). "James Merrill's Myth: An Interview". The New York Review of Books. New York. 26 (7).
  26. ^ David Wallace, "Dante in English," in Jacoff, Rachel (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 237–58. ISBN 0-521-42742-8. 255.
  27. ^ Niven, Larry; Jerry Pournelle (2008). Inferno. Macmillan. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-7653-1676-9.
  28. ^ David Wallace, "Dante in English," in Jacoff, Rachel (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 237–58. ISBN 0-521-42742-8.
  29. ^ Murphet, Julian (2002). Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho: A Reader's Guide. Continuum International. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-0-8264-5245-0.
  30. ^ King, Stephen (2003). The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass. Signet. p. 666. ISBN 0-451-21087-5.
  31. ^ Rogers, Mark E. (1998). Samurai Cat Goes to Hell. Macmillan. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-312-86642-6.
  32. ^ Havely, Nick (2007). Dante. Blackwell. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-631-22852-3.
  33. ^ a b c Havely, Nick (2007). Dante. Blackwell. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-631-22852-3.
  34. ^ "Inferno by Peter Weiss". The Complete Review. 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  35. ^ Fernando Castanedo (2006). "Dante en Burgos (1936)". El País, 21 January 2006. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  36. ^ "Dante Influences Benedict XVI's First Encyclical: Pope Points to Divine Comedy". Zenit: The World Seen from Rome. 2006-01-23. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  37. ^ Picoult, Jodi (2006-03-17). "Book 13: The Tenth Circle". Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  38. ^ Wisniewski, Mary (2007-11-04). "'Master' class; Chicago actor gives readers a delightful romp through the backstory of Romeo & Juliet". Chicago Sun-Times. p. B9.
  39. ^ Alenthony, S.A. (2009). The Infernova. Blackburnian Press. ISBN 978-0-9819678-9-9.
  40. ^ Dorothy L. Sayers, Purgatory, notes on Canto XXII.
  41. ^ "Dante's Inferno - Descriptions of the Levels". Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  42. ^ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - , retrieved 2019-09-17
  43. ^ "Abandon hope all ye who enter"
  44. ^ "Interview by Alain Rodriguez (Vivante Records)". Nine Circles. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  45. ^
  46. ^ "Louis Andriessen – La Commedia – Opera". Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  47. ^ Four Sacred Pieces
  48. ^ Canto 33 of Paradiso
  49. ^ [2]
  50. ^ Lanzara, Joseph (2012). Dante's Inferno: The Graphic Novel. New Arts Libra. ISBN 978-0-9639621-1-9.
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ "X-Men Annual #4". Marvel Masterworks Resource Page. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  54. ^ Kate Peterson (December 15, 2014). "Over the Garden Wall (2014)". Dante Today. Bowdoin College. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  55. ^ "DANTE'S INFERNO #1". DC Entertianment. December 2009. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  56. ^ Gygax, Gary (1977). Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. TSR Games. p. 22. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  57. ^ "Origin of the Names". Vita Nuova Holdings Ltd. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  58. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names: Prepared on Behalf of Commission 20 Under the Auspices of the International Astronomical Union. Springer. p. 247. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  59. ^ "Dante Alighieri's Google+ Circles"

Further reading [ edit ]

  • Griffiths, Eric; Matthew Reynolds (2005). Dante in English. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-042388-5. - An essay and anthology about translations of Dante's works into English and other literary works influenced by him.

External links [ edit ]

  • Dante Today: Citings and Sightings of Dante's Works in Contemporary Culture. A website designed to archive occurrences of Dante and his works in popular and contemporary culture of the twentieth century and beyond.
  • [5]. The Facebook page for The World of Dante (, this page allows everyone to post on current topics related to Dante in contemporary culture and media and in current scholarship.
  • The blog Italy Today with Dante offers commentary on contemporary Italian and American society through the lens of Dante's poem. [6]
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