Writing title: Dante’s Inferno
Canto: Canto 8; CIRCLE FIVE: Styx, The Wrathful, Phlegyas; CIRCLE SIX: Dis ,The Fallen Angels
Artwork: Salvador Dali
Canto 8 summary:
The Poets stand at the edge of the swamp, and a mysterious signal flames from the great tower. It is answered from the darkness of the other side, and almost immediately the Poets see PHLEGYAS, the Boatman of Styx, racing toward them across the water, fast as a flying arrow. He comes avidly, thinking to find new souls for torment, and he howls with rage when he discovers the Poets. Once again, however, Virgil conquers wrath with a word and Phlegyas reluctantly gives them passage. As they are crossing, a muddy soul rises before them. it is FILIPPO ARGENTl, one of the Wrathful. Dante recognizes him despite the filth with which he is covered, and he berates him soundly, even wishing to see him tormented further. Virgil approves Dante’s disdain and, as if in answer to Dante’s wrath, Argenti is suddenly set upon by all the other sinners present, who fall upon him and rip him to pieces. The boat meanwhile has sped on, and before Argenti’s screams have died away, Dante sees the flaming red towers of Dis, the Capital of Hell. The great walls of the iron city block the way to the Lower Hell. Properly speaking, all the rest of Hell lies within the city walls, which separate the Upper and the Lower Hell. Phlegyas deposits them at a great Iron Gate which they find to be guarded by the REBELLIOUS ANGELS. These creatures of Ultimate Evil, rebels against God Himself, refuse to let the Poets pass. Even Virgil is powerless against them, for Human Reason by itself cannot cope with the essence of Evil. Only Divine Aid can bring hopt. Virgil accordingly sends up a prayer for assistance and waits anxiously for a Heavenly Messenger to appear.