Monday, October 26, 2015

Why you always "lion..."

If you ask me, I think the animals Dante assigned to each of the 3 types of sin are mis-matched. Fraudulence involves deception or lying. Lion ("lyin") sounds very similar to "lying," so why does the Lion not go with fraudulence? Or, since one of his main goals is to combine Christian doctrines with classic traditions, why is the snake (or lizard @jaclyn) not the spokes-animal for fraudulence since the serpent in the Garden of Eden tricked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit? This is just another example of Dante not making very much sense. Unless I missed something, why did Dante choose these 3 specific wild beasts? Does it really make any difference if he used the she-wolf for violence and the leopard, incontinence? Feel free to share your ideas!


5 comments:

Jac said...

I really wouldn't have ever considered the irrelevance of Dante's animal choices. Now that you've brought it up, though, it very much does not fit. I think that the snake/lizard, considering Satan, should be the animal representative of fraudulence. He tricked Eve into eating the apple, so this is the stereotypical animal of deceit and trickery! I also think that the animals of Incontinence and Violence should be different...perhaps for violence it should remain a lion, since he is an animal that kills for no real reason (I did a blog post on this earlier in the year...the link still stands, excuse the title haha: http://www.cracked.com/article_16762_the-6-biggest-assholes-in-animal-kingdom.html) or one of the others on the list. Also, the incontinence does not exactly fit wit the wolf. I feel like an animal who, for example, is very lustful or has sex a lot. This animal could be a huge gorilla, since it is supposed to be intimidating but also stay true to its representation of its circles (monkeys are known to have recreational sex,) or another one of these animals: http://www.cracked.com/article_18764_the-6-most-insane-sex-lives-in-animal-kingdom.html. Weird blog post...but I liked it :-)

master123 said...

My take on the animals used was that they could work for their assigned sins, even though your point is valid. The leopard has spots that are used to camouflage itself from his prey, like the traitors (fraudulent), who have hidden their true purpose. The lion is usually associated with aggression, so I find it is fitting that the lion is the animal that represents violence. The she-wolf is tricky, since incontinence means a lost of control and wolves, in my opinion is a controlled creature, who only hunts when needed or sleeps when needed. I suggest that the animal for incontinence should be the wolverine, also known as the glutton.

Belin Manalle said...

I agree with Anastasia, I think these animals represent these three sins very well. When I think of fraud and betrayal I think of a little sneaky cat, tip-toeing around lying and betraying and such. When I think of violence I definitely picture a big, scary lion pouncing on and attacking its prey. The she-wolf is a bit more difficult to interpret as Anastasia said. Although this is a bit far-stretched, I believe that with the definition of incontinence meaning loss of control, this she-wolf is depicted as more of a werewolf since werewolves lose all of their control at midnight during a full moon.

Jack Zheng said...

Well, you could ascribe any human character to many different animals if you tried to. Dante simply chose three large, ferocious beasts and gave them traits that don't even apply to animals. Dante almost certainly believed that animals don't even have souls. The beasts guarding Hell would just be acting on instinct or whatever God made them do. The connection between the animals and the three categories of sins could have been based on arbitrary connotations created within Dante's culture.

Cheyenne Dwyer said...

While I also agree, the animals chosen to represent the types of sin are a bit hard to find the meaning, I would also like to gather some focus on the greyhound that will supposedly show up to defeat these beasts. Has Dante ever seen a greyhound? They're super scrawny and much smaller than the beasts. There is no way that a greyhound could take them on. Sure, a greyhound I super fast, but that doesn't give it the ability to defeat these other animals, and for that matter- the benefactor that the greyhound symbolizes, is he supposed to be able to defeat all three types of sin?