Sunday, 8 February 2009

References to Dante's Inferno in Popular Culture and Film

The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and 1321. It is divided into three canticas; Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise). Of these canticas, the most commonly referenced is the Inferno where Dante is taken through the nine circles of hell where sinners are punished in a way to suit their crime. The Inferno is commonly noted for its description of the nine stages of hell and the seven deadly sins. Since its creation, Dante's Inferno had been adapted and references in film, theatre, art, music and even architecture.

References to Dante's Inferno in film can be found as far back as 1911. Giuseppe de Liguoro's L'Inferno, the first full length Italian feature film ever made, was the first film adaptation of Dante's Inferno. It had also been adapted by Harry Lachman and inspired the Swedish comedy, The Man Who Quit Smoking. David Fincher's sophomore feature, Se7en draws heavily from Dante's Inferno. It follows two police officers as they investigate a series of murders based on the seven deadly sins. Dante's Inferno is referred to often by the characters in the film, it is one of the text used to attempt to solve the case at hand.

References to Dante's inferno are not solely limited to film adaptations. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's tone poem, Francesca da Rimini, is based on the 5th canto of Dante's Inferno. On their 1995 album Burnt Offerings, Iced Earth feature a 19 minute and 29 second long track titled Inferno serving as homage to Dante's Inferno. 90s grunge band, Nirvana, featured Dante's inferno inspired artwork on their debut album, Bleach.

Dante's Inferno, and the other canticas of The Divine Comedy are heavily present in visual arts Sandro Botticelli, William Blake, Franz von Bayros and many other artists have created popular images of Dante's diving comedy. Barlowe's Inferno, by Wayne Barlowe, features paintings of hells as an accompanying narrative. Sandaman, the comic book series by Neil
Gaiman features images of hell influenced by Dante's Inferno, it includes the woods of Suicide, the Malebolge, and the City of Dis.

Dante's Inferno is even extended to the world of video gaming. Inferno, the third level of the video game, Doom, takes place in hell in places such as Limbo and Dis. Dante's Inferno is an upcoming video game based on Dante's Divine Comedy.

Since it's creation in the fourteenth century, Dante's Inferno and the other canticas of Dante's Divine Comedy have been commonly referenced in all forms of media and culture.

1 comment:

RexTemples20144 said...

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