Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy in popular culture

Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy in popular culture

The life and works of Dante Alighieri, especially his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, have been a source of inspiration for many artists for seven centuries. Some notable examples are listed below.

Dante of Erminio Blotta, at Bd. Oroño, Rosario



Digital arts and computer games

  • Beyond Software wrote Dante's Inferno in 1986 for the Commodore 64.
  • In Descent II, the first level is titled "Ahayweh Gate," an acronym for the words at the gate of Hell, All Hope Abandon Ye Who Enter Here.
  • In the game Devil May Cry, the protagonist's name is Dante, his brother is Vergil, and Dante's partner-in-crime's name is Trish, a derivative of the name Beatrice.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, a video game in the Devil May Cry series, is very loosely based on the Divine Comedy by the use of allusions, including the game's protagonist Dante, and other characters like Vergil and Cerberus. Many of the enemies are named after the Seven Deadly Sins, such as "Hell Pride" or "Hell Lust."
  • In Bayonetta, they used many references to the Divine Comedy. Rodin, one of Bayonetta's allies, owns a store called "Gates of Hell". There are also three realms that the witch can travel between; they are called "Purgatory", "Paradiso" and "Inferno", Rodin's name on its own is a reference as well, after the sculptor Auguste Rodin Who sculpted a statue based on Inferno called the Gates of Hell.
  • In Devil May Cry 4, when the player dies the screen will shatter and read 'Abandon all hope...'. A portion titled 'The Ninth Circle' is designed around a massive statue of a devil. One of the characters in the game, Agnus, is named after the Agnus Dei, prayer for the Third Terrace of Purgatory in the Divine Comedy. Also the game has special mode where one of the protagonists must progress through 101 stages. On the Xbox 360 version the player receives a gaming achievement for every ten levels completed up to the ninth. These achievements are named after the nine circles of hell. The game's references to Dante's works go beyond the Divine Comedy, since the last mission is called La Vita Nuova.
  • The third episode of the video game Doom, appropriately called Inferno, takes place in Hell, in such places as Limbo and Dis.
  • Final Fantasy IV features four Elemental Lords named Rubicante, Scarmiglione, Barbariccia, and Cagnazzo, after members of the Malebranche. A mid-game boss, Calcabrina, also has the name of a Malebranche demon. Also, there exists a superboss in the DS version named Geryon. Final Fantasy V features yet another Malebranche, Farfarello. Also, Final Fantasy VI's final boss resembles a colossal mass of Satan entrapped to his waist (Hell), humans, animals and machinery (Purgatory), and a strange but yet angelic duo of celestal enites atop the totem of non-existence (Heaven), with the insane Kefka as the deity of magic and death flying above who tells the players that life is meaningless once they scale his tower of destruction. In the French localization of the series as a whole, the recurring summon Ifrit's ultimate attack is directly named after the Divine Comedy.
  • Tamashii no Mon, translated as "Gate of Souls," is a computer game developed by Koei and released on the PC98 computer system in 1994. It is an adventure that closely follows Dante's journey through Inferno.[citation needed]
  • In The Last Remnant, there is a boss that is loosely based on the Gates of Hell. The background music that plays while fighting this boss is also called "The Gates of Hell."
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow feature several spear-wielding flying demons named after the Malebranche: Cagnazzo, Scarmaglione, Rubicant, Draghignazzo, Barbariccia and Malacoda. Rubicant and Scarmaglione are mistranslated as "Lubicant" and "Skull Millione."
  • The fifth act of Rainbow Six: Vegas takes place in a casino that is under construction called "Dante's". The first chapter is called "Hell's Gate."
  • In Wild Arms 2, there is a gang called Cocytus, whose members are named Caina, Antenora, Ptolomea, and Judecca.
  • In World of Warcraft, a sign before the entrance to Deadwind Pass states "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here."
  • In Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation, Judecca, Levi Tolar's personal unit, uses attacks named after the four zones of the ninth circle of hell.
  • In Persona 3 FES, areas are called Malebolge, Cocytus, Caina, Antenora, Ptolomea, Judecca, and Empyrean.
  • In Fallout 3, there is a bar called "The 9th Circle" in the city of Underworld. The bar's bouncer is named Charon; a robot guarding the city is named Cerberus.
  • In Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, the final level takes place in hell, and is appropriately named "Lou's Inferno"; a possible reference to Dante.
  • Pandemonium, the highest-level zone in the Anarchy Online expansion Shadowlands, is split into four parts, each named after one of the four parts of the Ninth Circle.[2]
  • In Day of the Tentacle, when you play as Bernard you can tell the Novelty Good's Salesman that he looks like Dante Alighieri.
  • In the 1995 computer adaptation of Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, Dante's Divine Comedy is the book that contains a hidden mirror in the Lord's Bedroom in Ted's Scenario.
  • The Inferno embedded operating system takes its name and the names of many of its components from the Divine Comedy, such the Dis virtual machine, its implementation of the 9P protocol (Styx), the main programming language Limbo, and the Charon web browser. This was allegedly because Ken Thompson was reading the Commedia while working on the design of Inferno.[citation needed]
  • The visual novel and anime series Umineko no Naku Koro ni contains several elements from the Divine Comedy, including two characters named Beatrice (as the Golden Witch), Virgilia (as the Endless Witch) and the Stakes (Seven Deadly Sins).
    • The anime adaptation has an ending theme entitled La Divina Tragedia ~Makyoku~, named after the title La Divina Comedia. "Makyoku" is the opposite of "Shinkyoku", Divine Comedy's Japanese title.
  • Halo 3: ODST contains many references to the poem. For example, the Rookie is called into Section Nine, which is very icy and cold, similar to the ninth ring of Hell. In addition, the player's guide through the end of the game is called Vergil. Further, there are characters in the game that correspond to each of the sins.
  • Dante's Inferno is a 2010 action-adventure video game developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. The game was also developed by Artificial Mind and Movement for release on the PlayStation Portable. The story is loosely based on Dante's Inferno.
    • Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic is a direct-to-DVD animated film released on February 9, 2010. The film is a spin-off from the above video game.
    • Dante's Inferno is a series of six comic books based on the above video game. Published by WildStorm from December 2009 through May 2010, the series was written by Christos Gage with art by Diego Latorre.[3]
  • iDante: interactive version of the poem for the iPhone
  • iDante for iPad: interactive version of the poem featuring fully colorized illustrations from Gustave Doré, 3D reconstructions of key environments, iconic maps of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise

Dino di Durante's 2008-2011 original paintings of Dante's Inferno Art.

  • In 1999's Theme Park World, the advisor says "Abandon hope all ye who enter here." at the start of Halloween World. This is a reference to Inferno.
  • Europa Universalis 3 features advisors that the player hires to his court - the Philosopher's portrait is modeled after Dante.


  • Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. 1343-1400) is responsible for a number of translations and adaptations of, and explicit references to, Dante's work.[4]
    • "A Complaynt to His Lady," an early short poem, is written in terza rima, the rhyme scheme Dante invented for the Comedy.
    • Anelida and Arcite ends with a "compleynt" by Anelida, the lover jilted by Arcite; the compleynt begins with the phrase "So thirleth with the poynt of remembraunce" and ends with "Hath thirled with the poynt of remembraunce," copied from Purgatory 12.32, "la punctura di la rimembranza."
    • The House of Fame, a dream vision in three books in which the narrator is guided through the heavens by an otherworldly guide, has been described as a parody of the Comedy. The narrator echoes Inferno 2.32 in the poem (2.588-92).
    • The Monk's Tale from The Canterbury Tales describes (in greater and more emphatic detail) the plight of Count Ugolino (Inferno, cantos 32 and 33), referring explicitly to Dante's original text in 7.2459-62.
    • The beginning of the last stanza of Troilus and Criseyde (5.1863-65) is modelled on Paradiso 12.28-30.[5]
  • John Milton finds various uses for Dante, whose work he knew well:[6]
    • Milton refers to Dante's insistence on the separation of worldly and religious power in Of Reformation, where he cites Inferno 19.115-117.
    • Beatrice's condemnation of corrupt and neglectful preachers, Paradiso 29.107-9 ("so that the wretched sheep, in ignorance, / return from pasture, having fed on wind") is translated and adapted in Lycidas 125-26, "The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed, / But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw," when Milton condemns corrupt clergy.
  • The title of Honoré de Balzac's work La Comédie humaine (the "Human Comedy," 1815-1848) is usually considered a conscious adaptation of Dante's.,[7] whilst Dante himself features as a character in the 1831 novel Les Proscrits from that work.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who translated the Divine Comedy into English, also wrote a poem titled "Mezzo Cammin" ("Halfway," 1845), alluding to the first line of the Comedy,[8] and a sonnet sequence (of six sonnets) under the title "Divina Commedia" (1867), published as flyleaves to his translation.[9]
  • Karl Marx uses a paraphrase of Purgatory (V, 13) to conclude the preface to the first edition of Das Kapital (1867), as a kind of motto: "Segui il tuo corso, e lascia dir le genti" ("follow your own road, and let the people talk").[10]
  • In E. M. Forster's novel Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), the character of Gino Carella, upon first introducing himself, quotes the first lines of Inferno[11] (the novel includes several references to Dante's La Vita Nuova as well).[12]
  • T. S. Eliot cites Inferno, XXVII, 61-66, as an epigraph to "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915).[13] Eliot cites heavily from and alludes to Dante in Prufrock and Other Observations (1917), Ara vus prec (1920), and The Waste Land (1922).[14]
  • First begun in 1916, Ezra Pound's Cantos take the Comedy as a model.[14]
  • Primo Levi cites Dante's Divine Comedy in the chapter called "Canto of Ulysses" in his novel Se questo è un uomo (If This Is a Man) (1947), published in the United States as Survival in Auschwitz, and in other parts of this book; the fires of Hell are compared to the "real threat of the fires of the crematorium."[15]
  • Malcolm Lowry paralleled Dante's descent into hell with Geoffrey Firmin's descent into alcoholism in his epic novel Under the Volcano (1947). In contrast to the original, Lowry's character explicitly refuses grace and "chooses hell," though Firmin does have a Dr. Virgil as a guide (and his brother, Hugh Firmin, quotes the Comedy from memory in ch. 6).[16]
  • Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote extensively about Dante,[14][17] included two short texts in his Dreamtigers (El Hacedor, 1960): "Paradiso, XXXI, 108" and "Inferno, I, 32," which paraphrase and comment on Dante's lines.[18][19]
  • Poet Derek Walcott, in 1949, publishes Epitaph for the Young: XII Cantos, which he later acknowledged as deliberately influenced by Dante.[14]
  • James Merrill published his Divine Comedies, a collection of poetry, in 1976; a selection in that volume, "The Book of Ephraim," consists "of conversations held, via the Ouija board, with dead friends and spirits in 'another world.'"[20]
  • Authors Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle wrote a modern sequel, Inferno (1976), in which a science fiction author dies during a fan convention and finds himself in Hell, where Benito Mussolini functions as his guide. They wrote a subsequent sequel to their own work, Escape from Hell (2009).[21][22]
  • Gloria Naylor's Linden Hills (1985) uses Dante's Inferno as a model for the trek made by two young black poets who spend the days before Christmas doing odd jobs in an affluent African American community. The young men soon discover the price paid by the inhabitants of Linden Hills for pursuing the American dream.[23]
  • Author Monique Wittig's Virgile, Non (published in English as Across the Acheron, 1985) is a lesbianfeminist retelling of the Divine Comedy set in the utopia/dystopia of second-wave feminism.
  • Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho (1991) begins with the words "Abandon all hope ye who enter here."[24]
  • The character of Beatrice in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is the deceased love of the narrator. She is an allusion to Beatrice Portinari.
  • The main characters of Stephen King's Wizard and Glass (1997) have to cross a door within a building reminiscent of the palace of the Wizard from the film The Wizard of Oz: "The sign on this door wasn't from the movie, and only Susannah knew it was from Dante. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here, it said".[25]
  • Mark E. Rogers used the structure of Dante's hell in his 1998 comedic novel Samurai Cat Goes to Hell (the last book in the Samurai Cat series), and includes a gate to hell whose inscription reads "YOU'VE HAD YOUR FUN / YOU'VE MADE YOUR BED / YOU'RE BOUND FOR HELL / NOW THAT YOU'RE DEAD / ABANDON ALL HOPE YE THAT ENTER HERE."[26]
  • Irish poet Seamus Heaney publishes a poem on the front page of the Irish Times (18 January 2000) that begins with a translation of Paradiso 33.58-61.[27]
  • The Amber Spyglass (2000) by Philip Pullman includes several references to Dante's vision of hell, including the concept of Harpies, an ascent along the flinty steps in the Eighth Circle of Hell (Inferno, Canto XXVI); and the two main characters emerging from their experience of hell back onto the earth to look at the stars (last line of Inferno).
  • Nick Tosches's In The Hand of Dante (2002) weaves a contemporary tale about the finding of an original manuscript of the Divine Comedy with an imagined account of Dante's years composing the work.[28]
  • Inferno by Peter Weiss (written in 1964, published in 2003) is a play inspired by the Comedy, the first part of a planned trilogy.[29]
  • The Dante Club is a 2003 novel by Matthew Pearl that tells the story of various American poets translating The Divine Comedy in post-civil war Boston.[28]
  • In 2004 and 2005, Giulio Leoni publishes two crime novels, I delitti del mosaico and I delitti della luce respectively, in which Dante is an investigator.[28]
  • Pope Benedict XVI has said that part of his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (2006), was inspired by Canto XXXIII of Paradise.[30]
  • In the novel The Tenth Circle (2006) by Jodi Picoult, the main character's comic strip, "The Tenth Circle," is based on the Inferno [31]
  • Dante himself is a character in The Master of Verona (2007), a novel by David Blixt that combines the people of Dante's time with the characters of Shakespeare's Italian plays.[32]
  • Robert Penn Warren references Dante's Divine Comedy on the opening page of his novel All the King's Men with a line from Purgatory, III: Mentre che la speranza ha fior del verde, meaning "As long as hope still has its bit of green."
  • Paul Thigpen′s novel My Visit to Hell is an “extended parable” about hell in which he borrows “the moral topography of . . . Dante′s 'Inferno.'” It is an adaptation of his earlier novel, Gehenna, published in 1992, and what Thigpen refers to as “the latest addition to a genre of such literature known as ‘tours of hell.’” His contemporary interpretation produces more impact with its explicit references to historical figures and issues reflective of today's culture.[33]
  • S.A. Alenthony's novel The Infernova is a parody of the Inferno as seen from an atheist's perspective, with Mark Twain acting as the guide.[34]


  • In Claudio Monteverdi's 1607 opera L'Orfeo, the title character is bombarded with the famous line "Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch'entrate"[35] as he attempts to enter the underworld.
  • Franz Liszt's Symphony to Dante's Divina Commedia (completed 1856) has two movements: "Inferno" and "Purgatorio." A concluding "Magnificat" is included at the end of the "Purgatorio" movement and replaces the planned third movement, which was to be called "Paradiso" (Liszt was dissuaded by Richard Wagner from his original plan). Liszt also composed a Dante Sonata (started 1837, completed 1849).
  • Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky's 1876 Francesca da Rimini (subtitled "Symphonic Fantasy After Dante") is a symphonic poem based on an episode in the fifth canto of the Inferno.
  • Giacomo Puccini's 1918 one-act opera Gianni Schicchi is drawn from a brief reference to the title character in the Inferno.
  • F.M. Einheit of Einstürzende Neubauten and Andreas Ammer collaborated on an experimental recording called Radio Inferno, a radio play adaptation of the Comedy.
  • Tangerine Dream has released albums setting all the three parts of The Divine Comedy to music: Inferno is a recording of a live performance at the St Marien zu Bernau Cathedral in 2001, and Purgatorio is a studio album from 2004.
  • Folk singer Loreena McKennitt's song "Dante's Prayer", the final track on her 1997 album The Book of Secrets, is based on Dante's work.
  • Canadian post-rock group …as the Poets Affirm took their name from a passage in the Inferno.
  • Asaki's first album, Shinkyoku, is also the name of the Comedy in Japanese Kanji.
  • The Bright River is a hip-hop retelling of the Inferno by a traditional storyteller, Tim Barsky, with a live soundtrack performed by hip-hop and klezmer musicians.
  • In Weezer's album Make Believe, released May 10, 2005, there is hidden text in the pictures. The text reads "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita".
  • The song "Roll Right" on the album Evil Empire by Rage Against the Machine contains the refrain 'Send 'em to tha seventh level!' referencing the seventh circle (or level) of Hell, where the violent are held.
  • German Dark Electro band yelworC has made two albums of a trilogy based on the three canticas of the Divine Comedy, so far 'Trinity' and 'Icolation'.
  • Australian goth-electro band The Tenth Stage has a self-titled track (2006) that describes the singers descent past the nine stages of Dante's poem to a 10th stage of Hell.
  • Technical death metal guitarist Fredrik Thordendal (from the Swedish Death metal band Meshuggah) used quotes from the Divine Comedy in the song "Dante's Wild Inferno" from his solo album Sol Niger Within.
  • The song "Canto IV (Limbo)" from Progressive music group Discipline's album Unfolded Like Staircase describes the sorrow of those souls whose never knew a deity.
  • New Jersey band The Gaslight Anthem referenced the Comedy in their song "The Navesink Banks" from the album Sink or Swim with the opening line, "All hope abandoned, ye who enter here".
  • Italian progressive rock band Metamorfosi has released two concept albums based on the Divine Comedy, Inferno (in 1972) and Paradiso (2004).
  • Dante's work provided a name for the Irish band The Divine Comedy (1989).
  • The video for Depeche Mode song "Walking In My Shoes" (1993), directed by Anton Corbijn, was inspired by the Comedy.
  • Milla Jovovich's 1994 debut album was called The Divine Comedy.
  • Metal band Iced Earth's album Burnt Offerings (1995) contains the epic song "Dante's Inferno."
  • Norwegian Black metal band Ancient's second album The Cainian Chronicle (1996) contains the song At The Infernal Portal (Canto III).
  • Zao refer to the Divine Comedy on their 1999 album Liberate Te Ex Inferis, covering the first five circles of the Inferno.
  • Punk singer Mike Watt's third solo album, The Secondman's Middle Stand (2004), is a concept album that derives its structure from The Divine Comedy
  • The first song on metal band Decadence's debut album (2005), "Wrathfull and Sullen", is inspired by the fifth level of Hell.
  • Robert W. Smith's The Divine Comedy (CD, 2006) is a four-movement symphony for wind ensemble that depicts four stages of Dante's journey in a tone poem-like symphonic structure. The movements are "The Inferno", "Purgatorio", "The Ascension", and "Paradiso."
  • Indie band Murder By Death's album In Bocca al Lupo (2006) is a concept album partially based on the poem.
  • Thrash metal band Sepultura's tenth album, Dante XXI (2006), is based entirely on The Divine Comedy.
  • Professor Fate's album Inferno (2007) was inspired by the Comedy.
  • Finnish rock band HIM released Venus Doom (2007) of which all 9 songs represent the 9 circles of hell.
  • Dutch composer Louis Andriessen's 2008 film opera in five parts La Commedia incorporates texts from Vondel and the Old Testament, in addition to The Divine Comedy. The 5 parts are "The City of Dis, or The Ship of Fools", "Racconto dall'Inferno", "Lucifer", "The Garden of Delights", and "Luce Etterna".[36]
  • The Finnish progressive rock magazine Colossus and Musea records produced three multi-disc boxsets dedicated to each of the canticas of the Divine Comedy - Inferno (2008), Purgatorio (2009) and Paradiso (2010) - with the participation of several bands such as Yesterdays, Little Tragedies, Nathan Mahl and Phideaux.
  • On his album "Human the Death Dance" (2007) American underground hip-hop artist Sage Francis uses stanzas from Dante's Inferno sung in Italian during the chorus of the song "Black Out on White Night".
  • In Green Day's Album 21st century breakdown there is a song called Christian's Inferno that depicts one of the protagainsts of the album doing the same as Dante
  • Austrian gothic metal band Dreams of Sanity's album Komödia is partially based on The Divine Comedy.
  • American hardcore punk band AFI has a song on their fourth album whose chorus uses a line from the Inferno: "Beyond and to all time I stand"
  • American post-hardcore band Alesana's fourth album, A Place Where the Sun Is Silent is primarily based on the Inferno.

Movies and television

  • A 3D live-action film trilogy based on the three parts of the Divine Comedy produced by a company known as Master Films Productions LCC is in the works. It is directed by Boris Acosta, and involves people who've worked on films such as The Lord of the Rings.
  • Jack Sparrow from the movie Pirates of the Carriban made a reference to the ninth circle when he met his old crew.

Performing arts

  • The 1911 silent film, L'Inferno, was directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro, starred Salvatore Papa and released on DVD in 2004, with a soundtrack by Tangerine Dream.
  • The 1924 silent film, Dante's Inferno, directed by Henry Otto, features the 1911 film, L'Inferno.
  • The 1935 motion picture, Dante's Inferno directed by Harry Lachman, written by Philip Klein, and starring Spencer Tracy, is about a fairground attraction based on Inferno. The film features a 10-minute fantasy sequence visualizing Dante's Inferno.
  • In the 1946 Merrie Melodies cartoon Book Revue, starring Daffy Duck, the Big Bad Wolf falls into the book Dante's Inferno after hearing Frank Sinatra singing.
  • The Swedish 1972 comedy The Man Who Quit Smoking (Mannen som slutade röka), directed by Tage Danielsson, is partly inspired by The Divine Comedy. For example, the main character is named Dante Alighieri and goes through a personal hell.
  • Stan Brakhage's six-minute hand-painted film, The Dante Quartet (1987), is inspired by the Divine Comedy.
  • Peter Greenaway adapted Cantos I to VIII for BBC Two as A TV Dante (1987–1990).
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski planned to create a new trilogy inspired by Dante's The Divine Comedy after finishing The Three Colors Trilogy (1993–1994). This intention, however, was abandoned after his death in 1996 until Tom Tykwer decided to shoot the film Heaven in 2002, using Kieslowski's original screenplay. In 2005, Bosnian director Danis Tanović directed L'Enfer (Hell) based on Kieslowski's screenplay sketches. The screenplay was completed by Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Kieslowski's screenwriter.
  • The motion picture Se7en (1995) stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives who investigate a series of ritualistic murders inspired by the seven deadly sins. This film makes many references to Dante's Divine Comedy.
  • In an episode of the animated comedy series Futurama titled "Hell is Other Robots (1999)", the character Bender is dragged to robot hell, the entrance of which is hidden in an abandoned carnival ride called "Inferno". In a musical sequence, the levels of hell are described, each level complete with ironic punishments.
  • The main antagonist of the first anime adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist series (2001) is a woman named Dante, who controls seven homunculi that are named after the seven deadly sins. The Gate in this series is visually represented by Rodin's sculpture The Gates of Hell.
  • Various episodes of The Sopranos refer to the Dante's circles of hell. For example:
    • In "Whoever Did This" (2002), a TV journalist reports how a boom microphone accidentally knocked Uncle Junior down "nine, no seven" steps at the courthouse where Junior's RICO trial was being held.
    • In "Join the Club" (2006), Tony has a recurring coma-dream in which he checks into Room 728 (i.e., level seven) at the Omni hotel in Costa Mesa, using the identity of non-mafia civilian Kevin Finnerty. When the hotel elevator is out of commission, Tony descends a red staircase, slips, and falls to level five. Tony's surgeon, Dr. Plepler, tells Tony's wife, sisters and daughter they're lucky Tony's at a Level '1 trauma center.
  • Jean-Luc Godard's 2004 film Notre musique is structured in three parts, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise respectively, alluding to the Divine Comedy.
  • The 2005 BBC drama series Messiah IV: The Harrowing focuses on a serial killer who takes inspiration from Inferno to punish his or her victims.
  • In 2005, Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, references the 9th circle of hell when speaking to Barbossa's cursed pirates.
  • The first scene of the movie Clerks II (2006) is titled "Dante's Inferno".
  • The film Dante's Inferno (2007) is based on Sandow Birk's contemporary drawings of the Divine Comedy. The film accurately retells the original story, but with the addition of more recent residents of Hell such as Adolf Hitler and Boss Tweed.
  • The short documentary Dante's Inferno - Abandon All Hope (2009 film) (2009) is based on Gustave Dore's lithographs of the Divine Comedy and he 1911 silent film, L'Inferno.
  • The film Pandorum makes several allusions to The Divine Comedy.
  • The short animation, Dante's Inferno Animated (2010 film), is based on Dino di Durante's original paintings of Dante's Inferno.

Radio shows

In the fourth series of Bleak Expectations, the second episode spoofs Dante's Inferno. The underworld is depicted as a resting place for all souls before they enter their respective heavens or hells. Pip is guided through the underworld by Virgil Grimpunch when he goes there to bring her soul back after going into a near death experience while in Parliament. He finds her in Elysium with Achilles.


  • Auguste Rodin's sculptural group, The Gates of Hell, draws heavily on the Inferno. The component sculpture, Paolo and Francesca, represents Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta, whom Dante meets in Canto 5.[37] The version of this sculpture known as The Kiss shows the book that Paolo and Francesca were reading. Other component sculptures include Ugolino and his children (Canto 33) and The Shades, who originally pointed to the phrase "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" ("Abandon all hope, ye who enter here") from Canto 3.[37] Sculptures of Grief and Despair cannot be assigned to particular sections of the Inferno, but are in keeping with the overall theme. The famous component sculpture The Thinker, near the top of the gate, represents Dante himself.[37] Like The Kiss, it was also produced as an independent work.

Visual arts

  • Sandro Botticelli made the most famous set of illustrations during the Renaissance for a manuscript of the Divine Comedy commissioned by Lorenzo Pierfrancesco de' Medici; Botticelli also designed a series of illustrations for the 1481 edition of the poem.[38] Another interesting series was done by Stradanus.
  • John Flaxman's illustrations were influential across Europe in the Eighteenth century because of their radically minimalist style.
  • Eugène Delacroix made his name with The Barque of Dante, a painting depicting Dante and Virgil crossing the river Styx.
  • Before his death in 1827, William Blake, the English poet and painter, planned and executed several watercolour illustrations to the Divine Comedy, including The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies and the Suicides. Though he did not finish the series before his death, they remain a highly powerful visual interpretation of the poem.
  • William-Adolphe Bouguereau, the prolific 19th century academic artist, painted "Dante And Virgil In Hell" in 1850.
  • Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian British paintings relating to Dante include: Dante and Beatrice (1884) by Henry Holiday; Dante's Dream (1871) and Beata Beatrix (1872), both by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
  • Gustave Doré made the most famous illustrations in the 19th century.
  • Franz von Bayros, mainly known for his erotic drawings, illustrated a 1921 edition.
  • Salvador Dalí made a series of prints for the Comedy in 1950-51 [1].[14]
  • Jennifer Strange's collection of drawings and sculpture titled Inspired by Dante; an artist's journey through the Divine Comedy is a contemporary collection of works that have been exhibited in the United States and Italy. Online image gallery with text, translation and commentary.
  • Jimbo in Purgatory: being a mis-recounting of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy in pictures and un-numbered footnotes, a 33-page graphic novel by Gary Panter, an adaptation of Dante's Purgatorio (melded with Boccaccio's Decameron and a bit of the Canterbury Tales, John Milton, John Dryden, and pop culture references).[2][3]
  • The anime, Saint Seiya, more necessarily in the Arc " Hades Inferno" it has, not only personages, but all the structure of the hell based on the circles of Dante, but here being called as the 9th Prisons.
  • Wayne Barlowe's book, Barlowe's Inferno, containing paintings of Hell and an accompanying narrative, is partially inspired by Dante's Inferno.
  • Mickey's Inferno is a comic-book adaptation written by Guido Martina and drawn by Angelo Bioletto featuring classic Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck published by the then-Italian Disney comic book licensee Mondadori in the monthly Topolino from Oct. 1949 to March 1950. An English-language version appeared in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #666 [March 2006].
  • British artist Tom Phillips illustrated his own translation of the Inferno, published in 1985, with four illustrations per canto.
  • British artist Guy Denning's on line Dante project follows on from his exhibition of his Inferno paintings in Bologna in 2011. [4]
  • In the film Jacob's Ladder (film), the film's namesake character can be seen reading through a compilation of The Divine Comedy during one scene.
  • Neil Gaiman's Sandman comic series features a heavily Dante-inspired Hell, including the woods of Suicide, the Malebolge, and the City of Dis. Lucifer is also imprisoned in Hell.
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Dante's Vision of Rachel and Leah references Dante's dream in Purgatorio XXVII.
  • DC/Vertigo comics's Lucifer, based on characters from Neil Gaiman's Sandman, featuring aspects of a Dante-inspired Hell and Heaven, particularly the Primum Mobile and Nine sections of Hell.
  • DC/Vertigo comics's Kid Eternity, in which Kid and his companion Jerry Sullivan travel to a Dante-inspired Hell to free a partner of Kid's. The structure of the comic also draws features from Dante's Inferno.
  • An issue of the first volume of comic book adaptations of Star Trek by DC Comics, "Hell in a Handbasket", involves Captain Kirk and his crew being subjected to a telepathic hallucination of Hell, as described in The Divine Comedy.
  • Ty Templeton parodied Dante in his Stig's Inferno.
  • The fourth Uncanny X-Men Annual, "Nightcrawler's Inferno", chronicles the descent of Dr. Strange and the X-Men into a facsimile of Hell based on Dante's Inferno.[39]
  • In the movie Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009), Buck warns the troupe, "Abandon hope, ye who enter here!"
  • The Homunculi of anime/manga Fullmetal Alchemist all represent one of the seven terraces of purgatorio.


  • Asteroid 2999 Dante is named after the poet, as is a lunar crater.[40]
  • The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons named some levels of the Nine Hells after locations in Dante's Inferno. The game also borrowed the name "malebranche" for one diabolical race, although the original write-up mistranslated that word as "evil horn."[41]
    • The Planescape setting in particular borrows many elements from the book (some wholesale, some piecemeal), and much of the expanded cosmology, with dimensions for the dead based on alignment and most dimensions having many separate layers, are inspired by those seen in the Inferno.
  • The cross-genre role-playing game Shadowrun features Dante's Inferno as the most popular club in the Seattle metroplex. The club is nine stories tall and the bottommost floor is a private floor marked "Hell."[42]

See also


  1. ^ "Restauran el Palacio Barolo, una joya de la arquitectura". Clarin.com. 2003-10-18. http://www.clarin.com/diario/2003/10/18/h-06001.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  2. ^ Pandemonium Anarchy Online Wiki. Retrieved on 2009-02-27.
  3. ^ NateBest (2009-12-10). "Dante's Inferno Comic Available Now". Comic Book Movie Fansites. http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/SuperHeroGames/news/?a=12626. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  4. ^ All Chaucer references in David Wallace, "Dante in English," in Jacoff, Rachel (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 237–58. ISBN 9780521427428.  237-40.
  5. ^ Benson, Larry D. (1987). The Riverside Chaucer. Houghton Mifflin. pp. 1058. ISBN 0395290317. 
  6. ^ All Milton references in David Wallace, "Dante in English," in Jacoff, Rachel (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 237–58. ISBN 9780521427428.  241-44.
  7. ^ Robb, Graham. Balzac: A Life. New York: Norton, 1996. P. 330.
  8. ^ Axelrod, Steven Gould; Camille Roman, Thomas J. Travisano (2003). The New Anthology of American Poetry: Traditions and Revolutions, Beginnings to 1900. Rutgers UP. p. 231. ISBN 9780813531625. http://books.google.com/?id=WIy5tQXzHCYC. 
  9. ^ Gary Scharnhorst, "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)," in Haralson, Eric L.; John Hollander (1998). Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century. Taylor & Francis. pp. 265–69. ISBN 9781579580087. http://books.google.com/?id=IKped0j8PXwC.  p. 269.
  10. ^ "Preface to the first edition"; Marx, Karl; Ben Fowkes, Ernest Mandel, David Fernbach (1976). Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Penguin Classics. p. 93. ISBN 9780140445688. http://books.google.com/?id=te9CQ2P7VC8C. 
  11. ^ Forster, E.M. (2008). Where Angels Fear to Tread. BiblioBazaar. pp. 50. ISBN 9780554687278. http://books.google.com/books?id=xIjPwkaOFNQC&pg=PA50. 
  12. ^ Summers, Claude J. (1987). E.M. Forster. Frederick Ungar A Book. pp. 35. ISBN 9780804468930. 
  13. ^ Fowlie, Wallace (1981). A Reading of Dante's Inferno. Chicago: U of Chicago P. p. 174. ISBN 9780226258881. http://books.google.com/?id=JNeasB-pKRoC. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Havely, Nick (2007). Dante. Blackwell. p. 222. ISBN 9780631228523. http://books.google.com/?id=-U551hwgRb4C. 
  15. ^ Schwarz, Daniel R. (2000). Imagining the Holocaust. Macmillan. pp. 84–85. ISBN 9780312233013. http://books.google.com/?id=RH-Wu0eBnuUC. 
  16. ^ Asals, Frederick (1997). The Making of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano. U of Georgia P. pp. 202, 231–32. ISBN 9780820318264. http://books.google.com/?id=nVfT1pmKDiwC. 
  17. ^ Menocal, Maria Rosa (1991). Writing in Dante's Cult of Truth: From Borges to Boccaccio. Duke UP. p. 132. ISBN 9780822311171. http://books.google.com/?id=NJErL8emnlsC. 
  18. ^ Borges, Jorge Luis; Mildred Boyer, Harold Morland, Miguel Enguídanos (1985). Dreamtigers. University of Texas Press. pp. 43, 50. ISBN 9780292715493. http://books.google.com/?id=9SS9j6_6ZrMC. 
  19. ^ Ward, Philip (1978). The Oxford Companion to Spanish Literature. Clarendon Press. p. 265. http://books.google.com/?id=FYYYAAAAIAAJ&q=dante+hacedor&dq=dante+hacedor. 
  20. ^ Vendler, Helen (1979-05-03). "James Merrill's Myth: An Interview". The New York Review of Books (New York) 26 (7). http://www.nybooks.com/articles/7833. 
  21. ^ David Wallace, "Dante in English," in Jacoff, Rachel (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 237–58. ISBN 9780521427428.  255.
  22. ^ Niven, Larry; Jerry Pournelle (2008). Inferno. Macmillan. p. 236. ISBN 9780765316769. http://books.google.com/?id=AYa8J2u3d_wC. 
  23. ^ David Wallace, "Dante in English," in Jacoff, Rachel (1993). The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. pp. 237–58. ISBN 9780521427428. 
  24. ^ Murphet, Julian (2002). Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho: A Reader's Guide. Continuum International. pp. 23–24. ISBN 9780826452450. http://books.google.com/?id=BlaxA6bBoSgC. 
  25. ^ King, Stephen (2003). The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass. Signet. p. 666. ISBN 0451210875. 
  26. ^ Rogers, Mark E. (1998). Samurai Cat Goes to Hell. Macmillan. p. 66. ISBN 9780312866426. http://books.google.com/?id=dBdAWMSFKQ0C. 
  27. ^ Havely, Nick (2007). Dante. Blackwell. p. 224. ISBN 9780631228523. http://books.google.com/?id=-U551hwgRb4C. 
  28. ^ a b c Havely, Nick (2007). Dante. Blackwell. p. 225. ISBN 9780631228523. http://books.google.com/?id=-U551hwgRb4C. 
  29. ^ "Inferno by Peter Weiss". The Complete Review. 2008. http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/weissp/inferno.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  30. ^ "Dante Influences Benedict XVI's First Encyclical: Pope Points to Divine Comedy". Zenit: The World Seen from Rome. 2006-01-23. http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=83264. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  31. ^ Picoult, Jodi (2006-03-17). "Book 13: The Tenth Circle". http://www.jodipicoult.com/the-tenth-circle.html. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  32. ^ Wisniewski, Mary (2007-11-04). "'Master' class; Chicago actor gives readers a delightful romp through the backstory of Romeo & Juliet". Chicago Sun-Times. pp. B9. 
  33. ^ Thigpen, Paul (2007). My Visit to Hell. Realms, a Strang Company. ISBN 9781599790930. 
  34. ^ Alenthony, S.A. (2009). The Infernova. Blackburnian Press. ISBN 9780981967899. 
  35. ^ "Abandon hope all ye who enter"
  36. ^ "Louis Andriessen - La Commedia - Opera". boosey.com. http://www.boosey.com/pages/opera/moredetails.asp?musicid=45366. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  37. ^ a b c Le Normand-Romain, Antoinette (1999). Rodin:The Gates of Hell. Paris: Musée Rodin. ISBN 2-9014-2869-X. 
  38. ^ "Botticelli's Designs". Renaissance Dante in Print (1472–1629). http://www.italnet.nd.edu/Dante/text/1481.florence.botticelli.html. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  39. ^ "X-Men Annual #4". Marvel Masterworks Resource Page. http://www.marvelmasterworks.com/xmen/xmann04.html. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  40. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names: Prepared on Behalf of Commission 20 Under the Auspices of the International Astronomical Union. Springer. p. 247. ISBN 9783540002383. 
  41. ^ Gygax, Gary (1977). Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. TSR Games. p. 22. ISBN 0935696008. 
  42. ^ "Dante's Inferno". Wikia Gaming. 2007-07-18. http://pl.shadowrun.wikia.com/wiki/Dante%27s_Inferno. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 

Further reading

  • Griffiths, Eric; Matthew Reynolds (2005). Dante in English. Penguin Books. ISBN 0140423885.  - An essay and anthology about translations of Dante's works into English and other literary works influenced by him.

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