DIVINE COMEDY Poem (1307-1321) HELL. Halfway through my life, I – Dante – got lost in a dense forest. Scary, wild animals all around – allegories of vices; nowhere to go. And here is a ghost, which turned out to be the shadow of my favorite Roman poet Virgil. I ask him for help. He promises to lead me away from here on wanderings in the afterlife so that I will see Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. I am ready to follow him.
Yes, but am I capable of such a trip? I froze and hesitated. Virgil rebuked me, saying that Beatrice herself (my late lover) descended to him from Paradise to Hell and asked me to be my guide on wandering around the world. If so, then we must not hesitate, we need determination. Lead me, my teacher and mentor! Above the entrance to Hell there is an inscription that takes away all hope from those who enter. We entered. Here, right behind the entrance, miserable souls moaning who did not create during life, neither good nor evil. Next is the Acheron River. Through her, the fierce Charon carries the dead on a boat. We are with them. “But you are not dead!” Charon yells angrily at me. Virgil pacified him. Sailed. A roar is heard from afar, a wind blows, the flame flashed. I lost my senses …
The first circle of Hell is Limb. Here languish the souls of unbaptized infants and glorious pagans – warriors, sages, poets (including Virgil). They do not suffer, they only grieve that they, as non-Christians, have no place in Paradise. Virgil and I joined the great poets of antiquity, the first of which is Homer. Gradually walked and talked about unearthly.
At the descent into the second circle of the underworld, the demon Minos determines which sinner to what place of Hell should be cast down. He reacted to me in the same way as Charon, and Virgil also pacified him. We saw the souls of voluptuous carried away by a hellish whirlwind (Cleopatra, Elena the Beautiful, etc.). Among them is Francesca, and here is inseparable from her lover. Immeasurable mutual passion led them to a tragic death.
Deeply compassion for them, I again lost my senses.
In the third circle, the bestial dog Cerberus is rampant. It barked at us, but Virgil pacified him too.
Here, in the mud, under heavy rain, souls sinned gluttony wallowing.
Among them is my countryman, Florentine Cacco. We talked about the fate of our hometown. Chacco asked me to remind him of living people when I return to earth.
The demon guarding the fourth circle, where the squanderers and the mercenaries are executed (among the latter there are many clerics – popes, cardinals) – Plutos. Virgil also had to besiege him to get rid of. From the fourth they went down to the fifth circle, where angry and lazy, mired in the swamps of the Stygian lowland, are tormented. We approached a certain tower.
This is a whole fortress, there is a vast pond around it, in the canoe there is a rower, a demon Phlegius. After another hassle, we sat down to him, swimming. Some sinner tried to cling to the side, I scolded him, and Virgil shoved him off. Before us is the infernal city of Diet. Every dead evil prevents us from entering it. Virgil, leaving me (oh, scared one!), Went to find out what was the matter, returned anxious, but reassured.
And here also the infernal furies appeared before us, threatening. The heavenly messenger, who suddenly appeared, bailed out to curb their anger. We entered Diet. Everywhere the flame-filled tombs from which the moans of heretics are heard. On a narrow road we make our way between the tombs.
A mighty figure suddenly grew out of one tomb. This is Farinata, my ancestors were his political opponents.
In me, hearing my conversation with Virgil, he guessed the dialect of his countryman. A proud man, he seemed to despise the whole abyss of Hell. We argued with him, and then another head stuck out of a neighboring tomb: yes this is the father of my friend Guido! It seemed to him that I was dead and that his son also died, and he fell down in despair. Farinata, reassure him: Guido is alive! Near the descent from the sixth circle to the seventh, above the grave of heretic pope Anastasius, Virgil explained to me the arrangement of the remaining three circles of Hell, tapering down (to the center of the earth), and what sins are punished in which belt of which circle.
The seventh circle is compressed by mountains and guarded by a demoba-demon Minotaur, who roared menacingly at us. Virgil shouted at him, and we hastened to move away. They saw a boiling stream in which tyrants and robbers spar, and from the shore, centaurs shoot at them from bows. The centaur Ness became our guide, talked about the executed rapists and helped cross the boiling river.
Around spiky thickets without greens. I broke some branch, and black blood grew out of it, and the trunk groaned. It turns out that these bushes are the souls of suicides (rapists over their own flesh). The hellish birds of the Harpies peck at them, the running dead trample past, inflicting unbearable pain on them. One trampled bush asked me to collect broken branches and return them to him. It turned out that the unfortunate is my fellow countryman. I fulfilled his request, and we went on. We see – the sand, flakes of fire fly from above, singeing sinners who shout and moan – all but one: he lies silently. Who is it? King Kapaney, a proud and gloomy atheist, battered by the gods for his obstinacy. He is still true to himself: either silent or loudly curses the gods. “You are your own tormentor!” – shouted him Virgil …
But to meet us, tormented by fire, the souls of new sinners are moving. Among them, I hardly recognized my esteemed teacher Bru-net Latini. He is among those who are guilty of a penchant for same-sex love. We got into a conversation. Brunetto predicted that glory awaits me in the living world, but there will be many hardships that need to be resisted.
Teacher bequeathed to me to protect his main work, in which he lives, – “Treasure”.
And three more sinners (the same sin) are dancing in the fire. All Florentines, formerly respected citizens. I talked with them about the misfortunes of our hometown. They asked to convey to the living compatriots that I saw them. Then Virgil led me to a deep failure in the eighth circle. A hellish beast will bring us down there. He is already creeping into us from there.
This is a motley tailed Gerion.
While he is preparing for the descent, there is still time to look at the last martyrs of the seventh circle – loan sharks, toiling in a whirlwind of burning dust. Multi-colored wallets with different emblems hang from their necks. I did not talk to them. Let’s hit the road! We sit down with Virgil riding on Gerion and – oh, horror! – smoothly fly into failure, to new torment. Came down. Gerion flew away immediately.
The eighth circle is divided into ten ditches called Zlazasuzhami. In the first moat, women procurers and seducers are executed; in the second, flatterers. Horned demons brutally scourge the fellow soldiers, flatterers sit in the liquid mass of stench stool – the stench is unbearable. By the way, one whore was punished here not because she was fornication, but because she flattered her lover, saying that she was well with him.
The next moat (third sinus) is lined with stone, mottled with round holes, from which stick out the burning legs of high-ranking clergymen who traded church posts. Their heads and torsos are clamped by the bores of a stone wall. Their successors, when they die, will also jerk their flaming legs in their place, completely pushing their predecessors into the stone. That’s what Papa Orsini explained to me, at first mistaking me for his successor.
In the fourth bosom, soothsayers, stargazers, sorceresses are tormented. Their necks are twisted so that, sobbing, they do not irrigate their breasts with tears, but the butt. I myself sobbed when I saw such mockery of people, and Virgil shamed me: it’s a sin to feel sorry for sinners! But he sympathetically told me about his fellow countrywoman, the soothsayer Manto, whose name was named Man-thuya – the birthplace of my glorious mentor.
The fifth moat is poured with boiling resin, into which the devil Sinister, black, winged, throw bribes and make sure that they do not protrude, or else they will hook the sinner with hooks and finish so that it is worse than any resin. The devils have nicknames: Malicious, Winged, etc.
Part of the further path we will have to go through in their creepy company. They make faces, show their tongues, their boss made a deafening, obscene sound behind him.
Well, the sound! I have not heard that before. We walk along the ditch with them, the sinners dive into the pitch – they hide, and one hesitates, and they immediately pulled him out with hooks, about to torment, but they allowed us to talk to him before.
The poor fellow lulled the Vigilance vigilance by cunning and ducked back – they didn’t manage to catch him. Annoyed devils fought among themselves, two fell into the tar. In the confusion, we hastened to retire, but it wasn’t there! They are flying after us. Virgil, grabbing me, barely managed to run into the sixth bosom, where they are not masters. Here the hypocrites languish under the weight of lead gilded clothes. But the crucified (nailed to the ground with stakes) Jewish high priest, who insisted on the execution of Christ. He is trampled underfoot by heavy hypocrites.
The transition was difficult: on a rocky path to the seventh bosom. Thieves live here, bitten by monstrous poisonous snakes ^ From these bites they crumble to dust, but immediately recover in their guise. Among them, Vanni Fucci, robbed the sacristy and blamed the other. The man is rude and blasphemous *: God sent “in figs”, raising up two cookies. Immediately snakes attacked him (I love them for this). Then I watched as a certain snake merged together with one of the thieves, after which it took on its appearance and stood on its feet, and the thief crawled away, becoming a reptile reptile. Miracles! You will not find such metamorphoses in Ovid.
Cheer, Florence: these thieves are your offspring! It is a shame … And in the eighth ditch insidious advisers live. Among them is Ulysses (Odysseus), his soul is imprisoned in a flame that can speak! So, we heard the story of Ulysses about his death: longing to know the unknown, he sailed with a handful of daredevils to the other end of the world, was shipwrecked and, together with friends, drowned away from the world inhabited by people.
Another talking flame, in which is hidden the soul of a man who did not identify himself by the name of a crafty counselor, told me about his sin: this counselor helped the pope in one unrighteous deed, in the hope that the pope would release him from his sin. He is more tolerant of a simple-minded sinner than of a man who pretends to be saved by repentance.
We crossed into the ninth moat, where the sowers of troubles were executed.
Here they are, instigators of bloody contention and religious unrest. The devil will mutilate them with a heavy sword, cuts off noses and ears, crushes skulls. Here is Mohammed, and Kourion, who encouraged Caesar to civil war, and the decapitated warrior-troubadour Bertrand de Born (he carries his head in his hand like a lantern, and she exclaims: “Woe!”).
Then I met my cousin, angry with me for the fact that his violent death remained unrevenged.
Then we crossed into the tenth moat, where alchemists are suffering from eternal itching.
One of them was burned for jokingly boasting that he could fly; became a victim of denunciation. But he didn’t go to Hell, but as an alchemist. Here, those who impersonate other people, counterfeiters and generally liars are executed.
Two of them fought among themselves and then scolded for a long time (master Adam, who mixed copper in gold coins, and the ancient Greek Sinon, who deceived the Trojans).
Virgil rebuked me for the curiosity with which I listened to them.
Our journey through the Cloaks is ending. We approached the well leading from the eighth circle of Hell to the ninth.
There are ancient giants, titans. Among them, Nemvrod, who viciously shouted something to us in an incomprehensible language, and Antei, who, at the request of Virgil, lowered us to the bottom of the well in his huge palm, and immediately straightened himself.
So, we are at the bottom of the universe, near the center of the globe. Before us is an ice lake, betrayed by their relatives, frozen in it. I accidentally hit one on the head with one leg, he screamed, but refused to name himself. Then I grabbed his hair, and then someone called to him by name. That’s it, villain, now I know who you are and will tell people about you.
And he: “Lie, what you want, about me and about others!” And here is an ice pit, in it one dead man chews a skull on another. I ask: for what? Looking up from his victim, he answered me. He, Count Ugolino, takes revenge on his former like-minded person, Archbishop Ruggeri, who starved him and his children by imprisoning them in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Their suffering was intolerable, the children died in front of his father, he died last. Shame on Pisa! We go further. And who is this before us? Alberigo? But he, as far as I know, did not die, so how did he end up in Hell? It also happens: the body of the villain still lives, and the soul is already in the underworld.
In the center of the earth, the ruler of Ada Lucifer, frozen in ice, cast out from heaven and digging in the fall the abyss of the underworld, disfigured, three-faced. Judas sticks out of his first mouth, Brutus from the second, and Cassius from the third. He chews them and torments with claws.
The worst traitor, Judas, is the worst. A well leads from Lucifer, leading to the surface of the opposite earth’s hemisphere. We squeezed into it, climbed to the surface and saw the stars.
Virgil is one of the central characters of the poem. V. acts in it as a guide to Dante in his journey through Hell and Purgatory. Bringing the poet to the top of Purgatory, V. disappears, and Beatrice becomes Dante’s companion on a journey through Paradise.
The poet, who is also a storyteller, calls V. “a good father” and a “mentor of knowledge.”
V.’s permanent residence is the limb, where he is with unbaptized infants and those righteous who lived before the coming of Christ. Beatrice calls V. from the limb when Dante is in danger: three animals attack the poet: a lynx, a lion and a she-wolf, which symbolize voluptuousness, pride and greed. Dante got lost halfway in the dense forest of earthly existence, and these monsters block his path. At this moment V. comes to his aid. He becomes his mentor, protects from dangers, explains everything that meets them on the way. Dante sees V. as a wise teacher and treats him with timidity and reverence of the student. V.’s choice as a guide and mentor is not accidental. In the Middle Ages, the celebrated Roman author was revered not only as a poet, but also attributed to him a prophetic gift, since in the fourth eclogue his Bukolik was seen as a prediction of the coming of Christ, the Son of God, into the world.
Dante is the central character of the poem, narrating everything seen from the first person. D. in the poem has an outwardly passive role, as if he were following the command of the formidable angel from the Apocalypse: “Go and see!” Having completely trusted Virgil, D. can only obediently follow him, look at the pictures of terrible torment and continually ask Virgil to interpret the meaning of what he saw.
O. Mandelstam writes in “Conversation about Dante”: “Inner anxiety and the heavy, vague awkwardness that accompanies an insecure, tormented and driven man at every step – they give the poem all its charm, all the drama, they working on creating her background. ”
D. – the true son of his era, that difficult turning point, when in the bowels of the medieval worldview the seedlings of a new understanding matured life and its values. Ascetic ideals still live in his soul, so he considers Francesca’s free, destroying marriage bond to Paolo, the younger brother of her husband, to be a grave sin. When in the second round of Hell (song 5th) the poet hears from Francesca a story about their “unfortunate love,” he, deeply sympathizing with his beloved, does not grumble against the cruel punishment of heaven that befell them.
However, love, free from all sensuality, is for D. a great world power that “moves the sun and the stars.” Such love from a young age connects him with Beatrice, whose image illuminates his whole life, like a guiding star. At the end of the New Life, which tells in detail the story of his love for Beatrice, a love that gradually rises from wordless admiration for reverent and lofty reverence, the poet hopes that in the future he will be able to “say something about her that has never been said not about one. ” Indeed, in The Divine Comedy, Beatrice appears before the narrator in the image of a saint living in Paradise, in a “heavenly rose”, the abode of blessed souls.
Ugolino della Gerardesca, Count – one of the most tragic characters in the Divine Comedy, who is in the ninth circle of Hell among the traitors. He appears before Dante, frozen into an icy swamp and furiously gnawing the back of his head to his enemy, Archbishop of Ruggeri degli Ubaldini, who caused his terrible death. The story of U. about his fate is one of the most terrible stories heard by Dante from the inhabitants of Hell. W. was the ruler of Pisa. Archbishop Ruggeri, taking advantage of internal intrigues, raised a popular rebellion against him, tricked him with his four sons (in fact, with two sons and two grandchildren) into the tower and nailed it tightly, condemning them to starvation.
U., who on the eve saw in a dream a hunted wolf with wolves, is aware of his fate and bites his fingers in grief. His children, considering this gesture a sign of hunger, offer his father to get enough of their meat. Then W. becomes silent and in petrification he watches how all his children die from hunger one after another. But soon the despair of the distraught father is overcome by hunger and (according to the interpretation of most commentators) he eats their dead bodies.
Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta are the heroes of one of the most famous and dramatic episodes of the Divine Comedy. They appear in the second circle of Hell among the voluptuous.
In response to Dante’s call, they emerge from the whirlwind of rushing souls and tell the poet the story of their love and death (F. says, and P. sobs). F., being the wife of Giancotto Malatesta, fell in love with her husband’s younger brother, P., in response to his love for her, and the joint reading of the novel about Lancelot played a decisive role in the development of their feelings.
Upon learning of the betrayal, Giancotto killed F. and P., and now they are suffering together in Hell. This story causes Dante so much compassion that he falls to the ground lifeless: “… and the torment of their hearts / My forehead covered with mortal sweat; / And I fell like a dead man falls.” Reminiscences of this story are repeatedly found in the literature of different countries and eras (cf., for example, the romantic tragedy of Silvio Pellico “Francesca da Rimini”).