(Leia em Português)

Roque Ehrhardt de Campos (REC)

This work is done in Brazil by a Brazilian and the language used will be Portuguese, which is our idiom. As authors of other languages will be quoted, they will be informed and requested permission  about  the copyright involved. The second language will be English, which is universal.  As citations will occur in other languages, wherever possible it will be translated.  When the note belongs to other than REC, only a number will show.

I beg the reader please to excuse me and have some patience an perseverance in order to understand how this subject will be tackled. Consider it as a picture and I will start with the framing, proposing what seems to me today is the prevalent thinking on the subject and how I intend to bring it to its true realm as it was in the head of Dante, helped by several geniuses, painters, etc. which will be called. I will start with a painting, will offer the first film on the subject and discuss at length figuring out what was Galileo thinking when he measured Dante’s hell.  After that, I will propose perspectives on the subject, involving the religious, the symbolic, the importance for the establishment of Italian as a language, the merit of having catalyzed the work of Gailleu and others that will be added to the extent that it seems necessary to me to know what Dante proposed.

Maarten Levendig tells us

When the panel Dulle Griet by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1894 was presented at an auction sale in Cologne, no one was really interested. Yet, art collector Fritz Mayer intuitively decided to buy the panel at the auction anyway and took it to his Flemish hometown Antwerp. Since 1904, the public can enjoy it in the small, but very recommendable Museum Mayer van den Bergh.

Bruegel was then commonly known as ‘Peasant Bruegel’, famous for his landscapes and what were assumed to be authentic representations of Flemish folk life. This spooky and chaotic painting, dating from 1561, did not fit that image. Essentially, in the 19th century, nobody understood its original significance anymore. Who was this mysterious, colossal woman that the painting earned its nickname from? ‘Dulle Griet’ (‘crazy girl’, often translated as ‘Mad Meg’) wears a military costume and seems to be heading for the mouth of hell, visible on the left. Her female followers loot the house on the other side of the bridge. Another giant figure, sitting on top of the building, carries a boat on his shoulder. And these are only a few elements of this picture, which is chock-full of monstrous creatures and enigmatic symbols that wereprobably easily understood by Bruegel’s contemporaries.

The present appreciation of Dulle Griet does not necessarily imply that one understands a lot more of this work, although many scholars have speculated about the significance since then. For example, the panel has been interpreted in the context of the warfare in sixteenth-century Flanders, Dante’s Inferno, Erasmian humanism, medieval allegory, gender studies and much more.

In my opinion, the safest interpretation is that Bruegel wants to show us an upside down world, in which all social and ethical standards that make civil society liveable are inverted. As such, it delivers an implicit warning: if we don’t behave in a proper way, i.e. without folly, greed and cruelty, our world ends in complete madness.

From which I, Roque E. Campos give it a thought:

Pieter Bruegel can be see in his entirety at Summary of works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

For our case his  Representations of demons and devils (1562) are particularly suited

Why Mad Meg? (Dulle Griet)

Whenever the subject Inferno or Hell in Dante’s vision which dominates the western culture, in our 21rst century, even before, there is a general acknowledgement that hell is actually already here. If you take a look on the depiction of Dante’s Inferno, you will see a detailed list of the improper ways which we don’t behave:


You may not believe in God, or the devil, or hell, but let me ask you: do you believe that list depicts something which exists?  Try for a moment to exclude the idea that Dante framed his Inferno centered in Jerusalem and physically projected it in three dimensions in a typical allegory, once that at the time he did it basically almost nobody could read and notions where normally passed on verbally with some kind of picture. Take a look on the concept he was embedding:

Dantes inferno colour

The original poem in Italian

Annotated in Italian

At Length in English

At Length II

In a Nutshell:

The Divine Comedy tells about Dante’s imaginative journey through the afterlife. Dante finds himself in a dark wood of error, and his guide, Virgil, the author of the Roman epic The Aeneid, takes Dante through the Inferno (Hell), and up the Mountain of Purgatory to the Forest of Eden.
There Beatrice, Dante’s beloved who died early in life, takes over as Dante’s guide, and the two ascend the spheres of Paradise, until finally Dante, with the aid of another guide and of the Virgin Mary, is able to see God face to face. These three parts of Dante’s imaginative journey make up the three parts of The Divine Comedy: the Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso.
In The Divine Comedy, Dante tells the reader how to achieve Paradise. In addition, the epic is a love story. A woman takes it upon herself to save Dante.

You can look at the entire set of the Divine Comedy as a work that bridges the gap between the Medieval and Modern periods. It was written in the vernacular instead of Latin, which was a big issue at that point.
The Inferno is the best known of the three and I would argue the most influential. Almost any version/view of Hell since has been influenced by the Inferno.
The set is a very personal set of poems and deals with the concept of redemption. Dante places his enemies and people he see as morally corrupt or bad (some fictional such as Odysseus) in the various levels of hell. On the other hand Beatrice was his great unrequited love and using her as a guide was a catharsis for this and for the fact she died rather young.

To understand, and above all, take advantage of what is in front of us, we need a little bit of reflection on the embedded perspectives which will be listed at the Index, but first take a look at about to understand the approach used here and just as a closing up this introduction, take a look on the first film, made in Italy, and do not forget to examine what Galileo Galilei did based on the subject:

L’Inferno – Milano Films, 1911

Our first discussion will be Galileo Galilei




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