ACT 3: the World of Dante’s Inferno (Hell): the River LETHE, the City of DIS, the frozen lake of Circle Nine”

Macbeth, 3.5., Lo! Vere, Mac (son of) Beth, #1Fig. 1

Ice Monster TIFF WhiterFig. 2:                           Ferris©2009  “Lucifer in the Center of Hell

Macbeth, 3.5., Lethe, Ness, Dis, #2Fig. 3

   In Dante’s description of Hell, the city of Dis contains the sixth through the ninth circles. The description of Dis could be that of Macbeth’s castle in that its architectural features includes gates (the Porter’s Scene in Act 2, Scene 3?), towers, walls, bridges and moats. The inhabitants include: the heretics, murderers, suicides, blasphemers, the fraudulent, seducers, hypocrites and liars. Progress through rings 6 through 8 lead to the Ninth Circle, the most terrifying of the rings of Hell. At the center of the frozen river, Cocytus, in a frozen lake (a “ness”, Scottish for “lake”), is Lucifer, emperor of Hell, a giant monster with three faces. Dante is led by his guide, Virgil, up to exit Lower Hell to begin their journey to Purgatory. At the top of Purgatory is the River Lethe, the river of forgetfulness (amnesia) into which Dante is dipped, where he can begin to purge his soul of sins committed in life.

 

V. XXXI. MMXV             

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