The fourth circle of Dante’s version of Hell is Greed. Here, sinners who obsess with acquiring material possessions at the cost of others are punished. In Greed, the sinners are weighed down and crushed by the combined wealth in existence over and over again. Also, they can be boiled alive in cauldrons of molten gold over and over again.
The third circle of Dante’s version of Hell is Gluttony. Here, sinners who have indulged themselves on excess are denied such pleasure for eternity. Also, they themselves get devoured over and over again by their assigned demons. I can picture the walls looking like stomach lining and the sinners boiling in pools of stomach acid and digested food and drink. In addition, I can see sinners being digested in the fleshy walls. Overall, I am imagining Gluttony to be one of the more disgusting circles of Hell.
The second circle of Dante’s version of Hell is Lust. Here, sinners who have surrendered themselves completely to pleasures of the flesh are punished. Such individuals include people who have sex out of wedlock or people who committed adultery.
Allow me to give you an overview of how Dante described the nine circles of Hell. We shall begin with the first circle, Limbo. Limbo is inhabited by souls who did not sin, but they did not have the required faith to enter Heaven. Most of the inhabitants predated Christianity and included scholars, philosophers, and poets. Such individuals included Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates. Because they predated Christianity, these people were never exposed to Christian ideals. As a result, they are placed into an inferior version of Heaven that is neither good nor bad yet in between. The inhabitants of Limbo will play an integral role in my story and my main character’s motivation to escape Hell.
I had an intriguing idea for my story about Hell. Along the way to the center of Hell, the main character is bound to meet people he knew in life amongst the damned. One soul would be that of his father, who was a former President of the United States. His father won’t just be in one circle of Hell, he would appear in all of them with the sole exception of Limbo. Because of his father’s constant presence in Hell, the main character will have to confront his father. In the end, it will be father versus son.
A female demon is referred to as a succubus. For my future story about Hell, I am thinking of making the female lead a succubus. She starts out as just another demon and is assigned to be the main character’s torturer. She is both inhumanly beautiful and unnaturally frightening at the same time, which makes the main character love and fear her simultaneously. She also just happens to be a descendant of one of the Seven Princes of Hell. However, she starts to fall in love with her would-be victim. By genuinely experiencing love, she starts to lose her demonic nature. Along the way, she starts learning how to be human. She was born only knowing and understanding evil, but after interacting with her would-be victim, she starts turning her back on the darkness. Her character arc involves the complex process of transitioning from being the protagonist’s tormenter and torturer to ultimately becoming his lover and soulmate. You could say she becomes my story’s version of Beatrice from Dante’s Inferno.
I used to read the medieval poem called The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. In one of my previous posts, I said I was toying with the idea of writing a story about Hell from the point of view of the damned. I thought of gaining inspiration from Inferno, which depicted Dante’s interpretation of Hell. I am thinking of doing my own spin on the nine circles of Hell just as Dante did. My story will take place in the 21st century and follow a graduate student who has sinned and seeks to find a way out of Hell.
Another good fantasy movie from the 80s that I enjoy is The NeverEnding Story. Readers often imagine themselves entering the world of the books they read. In this film, that literally happens for one young boy. He reads a book and discovers he has become part of the story. I like how the fantasy world of Fantasia is the physical incarnation of human imagination. On the downside, this film also shows what happens to human imagination when it is subjected to cynicism and despair. That nihilistic despair takes the form of a force called The Nothing, which gradually destroys Fantasia one region at a time. The film also shows how hope can be restored in the darkest of times. I would recommend this film to anyone who wants a peek at human imagination.
I watched The Dark Crystal for the first time since I was a small child. The first time I watched it, I was too young to understand what was going on. However, I have a greater appreciation for this film now that I am older. It is a story of life and death, light and darkness, and the balance between it all. The puppetry was masterfully done and the world building was very imaginative. This Friday, Netflix will be releasing a prequel series to The Dark Crystal called Age of Resistance, which will depict the Skeksis at the zenith of their power and the near extinction of the Gelfling race. I would recommend this film to anyone who is seeking a good fantasy film that does not have a single human character.
I recently rewatched one of my favorite fantasy films, Dragonslayer! I like this film because it portrayed a unique fantasy world that reacted to the presence of a dragon in various ways. A sorcerer regards the dragon as one of the last remnants of magic, a boy sees it as a chance to prove himself a man, a kingdom regards it with fear, and a king regards it as a monster to appease at all costs. This film depicted one of the best dragons in cinematic history. The story and world building were wonderful. You just don’t get films like this anymore.