Free «The Symbolism of the Three Beasts in Inferno» Essay Sample

The three beasts in the Inferno are; the lion, leopard and a she wolf it menaces Dante in his struggle to get some sunlight. The three beasts make a representation of some form of sin. The leopard symbolizes fraudulence, while the lion acts as or symbolizes pride, and finally the she-wolf will act as a symbol or represents the sin of greed or avarice. In the comedy there are very few physical characteristics of the leopard, but they work to portray it as a representing or can be of interpretation as fraudulence. For the lion it easily represents pride as it is seen to have "head held high." For the she-wolf is more portrayed more as greedy because she is seen to "carries every craving in her leanness," this means that she is very skinny. This acts to explain why she is seen to represent avarice or greed.

The symbolism of the three Heavenly Ladies in Inferno II

With the beasts symbolizing sin, which acts as an obstruction to his path to sunlight, the Virgin Mary, Beatrice and St. Lucia who are the three heavenly 1adies symbolize or represent salvation. For Lucia she acts as the divine light which is associated with clear vision and sight. Lucia is defined as having removed her eyes so as to not to tamper with her purity and chastity. For Beatrice she symbolizes the direction of the right way, she acts as Dante’s spiritua1 guide. For the Virgin Mary, who is portrayed as a lady who is gent1e she symbolizes the truth. Virgin Mary is also merciful and pleas for judgment to be altered in heaven and for people to be offered less stern judgment.

Characteristics of the sins in Upper Hell (circles 2-5)

The characteristics of sin in the upper hell symbolize lust. In Mino’s circle, it is represented by winds which blow of a terrible storm. In the third circ1e it is characterized by the Gluttons, this is shown by the rain which is very heavy but steady, snow and hail. It works in weakening of the souls and it is guarded by Cereberus, who is a three-headed dog. In the fourth that is characterized by prodigal and avaricious, there is a lot of wasteful and pain. Sinners in this circle work in pushing huge rocks in a different direction. The circle is guarded by Plutus who is a demon. The final circle is a representative of sullen and wrathful, it is portrayed by the falling and drowning in River of Styx which is full with trapped underwater. The circle is guarded by Phlegyas.


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