Divine Comedy-I: Inferno

Meeting Lucifer: The Inferno's Anticlimax? 12th Grade

One might say that Dante’s meeting with Lucifer is an anti-climax because of the contrast between it and the trials he has faced throughout the rest of Hell. Having been shut out of the city of Dis and only allowed in through the intervention of a heavenly messenger, carried into the Maleborge by Geryon himself, manipulated and later pursued by the Rotklors gang of demons, and finally lowered into the Ninth Circle by the giant Antaeus, Dante’s adventure has been action-packed and dangerous throughout, becoming increasingly more so as he descends further. Therefore, although he does very little to describe Lucifer or to predict what their encounter will be like throughout the Inferno, it is easy to get the impression that there will be a showdown or a tense encounter of some sort, as it would be a fitting end to the Cantica. In fact, by both avoiding a premature description of Lucifer (to the extent that is almost a shock when Virgil finally announces ‘Ecco Dite…ed ecci il loco/ove convien che di fortezza t’armi’ (Now see! Great Dis! Now see the place where you will need to put on all your strength (34.20-21))) and placing him in the deepest, least accessible region of Hell, Dante cloaks him in mystery and thereby creates a good...

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