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Introduction


Part 4 of circle 9 brings the poets to JUDECCA, where the focus is on those who are TREACHEROUS TO THEIR MASTERS. The sinners in this round are completely sealed in the ice with their bodies distorted in every possible way. It's impossible to speak to them, and the poets only spend a short period of time here before advancing to Satan.

SINNERS


Judas-The 12th Apostle of Jesus. He famously betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. The Bible tells two separate tales of his death, one in Matthew when he hangs himself in shame and one in Acts when he's struck down by God. Judecca is named after him, and he's seen there being chewed on by Satan.

Brutus-Betrayer of Julius Caesar. His betrayal was considered the worst due to his close relationship with Caesar, and is mentioned in the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar. He too is being eaten by Satan

Cassius-Another betrayer of Caesar. He's gnawed on by Satan's final mouth.

Dante had his back-even after 1300 years.
Dante had his back-even after 1300 years.


Satan-Lucifer, the Devil, El Diablo. Satan launched a revolution against God and lost, mostly because God was on God's side. Hell was originally created to house Satan and his allies. Satan is at the very center of the Inferno, stuck in the ice up to his waist. He has three faces, red, white, and black, each holding another sinner, which are: Judas, who betrayed Christ, and Brutus and Cassius, who murdered Caesar and betrayed Rome.

Here, the primary sinner, Satan, also takes on a geographical purpose as part of the mountain that Dante must ascend to move from Hell to Purgatory. The act of climbing Satan is of vast metaphorical potential, perhaps representing how Dante triumphs over sin, or how one must be willing to transcend their sins to reach the potential of salvation in paradise, as, without Satan, Purgatory could not be reached. That or he just wanted us to think about Dante trying to climb a giant, hairy, pussy, monster.

Imagery


Dante notices a large structure ahead which turns out to be Satan, King of Hell, who is immersed in ice up to his chest. The first sinner, Judas Iscariot, was a traitor to Christ for thirty pieces of silver. He suffers the worst punishment by being chewed on by the red face and being clawed by his bat-like wings. The second is Marcus Brutus, traitor to Caesar. The black face is chewing him. The third sinner is Caius Cassius Longinus, who was another member of the conspiracy against Caesar. Each face of Satan is equally deformed and twisted, afflicted by some disease or puss.
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For I Beheld Satan, and He Didn't Look Like This

Generally, imagery of hell is based on two literary works; these being Inferno and Paradise Lost, but, Dante's depiction of Satan has historically taken a back seat. Although attracting some attention from a few minor renaissance artists, in most other instances of literature, painting, and modern television and movies, the idea of Satan leans much more toward Paradise Lost, or the Bible itself.
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Dante's Satan is unique in that he/it is completely powerless, while the typical Satan takes on the role of a usurper and corruptor. In the Bible itself, there is no depiction of Hell itself, but there are frequent appearances of Satan or Satan-like figures, not coming anywhere close to Dante's. Although not explicitly stated, the snake and other whispering animals are often interpreted as a representation as Satan, and he makes an appearance himself in an either human or ethereal form. Dante's is one of the very few that is shown as completely isolated and powerless, with no interaction with the outside world.

The Paradise Lost Satan (in this book, an actual main character) is exactly the opposite, depicted as both beautiful, and powerful, though not any match for God. Also he is a Satan that is not exactly tortured by his situation, hence, "better to rule in Hell, than to serve in Heaven." This is a much more popular image, specifically that there is a false guise of purity to aid in his corruption.

That is not to say that Dante's imagery is never seen, just not often as Satan himself, but rather as some standard demonic creature. Most of Dante's demons are bizare and twisted, and so a three faced monster is easily thrown in among them. The typical modern images of a demonized Satan (horns, wings, and hoofs) , however, has no clasical source.

What Was Taken From Dante Who Took From Virgil


Although not popularly depicted as Hell itself, hence the still popular phase, when Hell freezes over, many of Dante's environments at least have been reflected in other media. The idea of a frozen wasteland as a punishment, while not exclusive to Dante, has been repeated fairly often, as well as the idea of ice as a prison, such as in books such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardobe in the chronicles of Narnia, in which a once peaceful land is beset by eternal winter, making it as a hell, and the titular witch makes a habbit of punishing the natives by freezing them as stone. More modern examples include the game Bioshock, in which is a freezer where those who opposed the insane artist who had taken control of the area were sent to freeze, and where their icy figures can still be seen. One of the closest examples is a section of the popular strategy game Warcraft 3, in which lies Northrend, a frozen wasteland ruled over by a corrupted prince who fell from grace, now comanding the legions of the undead from a frozen throne atop a mountain of ice.
Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne
Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne