The story starts of with Dante in the middle of the journey of his life. Dante finds himself lost in a dark wood, and he cannot find the straight path. He cannot remember how he wandered away from his true path that he should be following, but he is in a fearful place. Worried and frightened, he was comforted by the sight of a hill, the top of which was sunlit. However, when he tried to climb the hill to reach the brighter regions, he found his way blocked by three savage animals: first a leopard, then a lion, then a she-wolf. Dante was too frightened to continue, and retreated back to the forest, where fortunately he met the shade of Virgil, his literary hero. Virgil informed him that the three beasts were impassible: the she-wolf would reign until the greyhound came and slew her, and restored peace to Italy. In the meantime, Virgil would lead Dante to salvation, but first they must pass through Hell. Virgil would not be able to take Dante all the way to Paradise, since as a Pagan he had no right to enter there instead a more worthy soul would take him the final part of the way. Dante gladly accepted his offer.
In the small passage we get in The Humanistic Tradition Dante's journey jumps to the ninth circle of hell. Dante and Virgil continued on, and passed sinners who were completely covered by ice, deep below them in the frozen lake. Finally Virgil told Dante to look and see the center of Hell itself. Dante was shocked by the sight of Lucifer, a gigantic figure who dwarfed the giant Nimrod. He had three heads and bat-like wings-they were the cause of the freezing wind. His six eyes wept and the tears mixed with the blood of the sinners he was grinding between his teeth: the three mouth held Judas, Brutus, and Cassius. Judas was in the front mouth.
Dante emerges when it is night, before dawn on Easter Sunday. In symbolic holy time, he has been "dead" for the time after the crucifixion and before Christ rose, and now he rises with Christ. I... [continues]
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