How Is Satan Portrayed In Dante's Inferno

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In Dante’s Inferno, he writes about his journey through hell for the purpose of recognizing his sins. He goes through this journey with Virgil, a voice of reason for Dante.

Dante meets people through his journey of the many circles in the Inferno that lead him down into the center of hell, where Satan is. Satan is seen as being monster-like with three heads, representing a mocking of the Trinity and blowing his wings around the cocytus river. The final thing seen here is the fact that Dante’s description of Satan is a bit disappointing compared to the other descriptions he has written about the inferno. Dante’s portrayal of Satan is paradoxically empty and monstrous; it captures Satan in his true form and speaks of who he truly is.

One of Dante’s portrayals of Satan is his monstrousness throughout the Inferno with him blowing over the cocytus. Dante’ first impression of Satan is “I saw his head towering above me! for it had three faces” (266). The image of the three heads is a symbolic mocking of the most holy Trinity. There is also the description of “Under each head two wings rose terribly, …, They were not feathers-their texture and their form were like a bat’s wings” (Alighieri 266).
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Dante’s portrayal of Satan shows him to be monstrous and empty as he does not fulfill any satisfaction that is felt if something is missing in one’s life. The thing that is missing in the readers’ lives is God as only God can satisfy our desire. This paradox of Satan by Dante speaks truth as to the fact he is both monstrous and empty. This is an astounding idea to think but it makes sense as he is seen with three heads gnawing on the sinners in the final realm of Hell, Judecca, but is also empty as he is the epitome of sin and, as said earlier, sin is empty and never truly
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