Friday, November 4, 2016
Old Man of Crete
Of all the many allegories that Dante utilizes in Inferno, the Old Man of Crete is the most unique and interesting in my opinion. It alludes to the Bible by having the different body parts made of a decreasing level of sturdiness, all the way from the head of gold until the right foot of terra cota. Dante uses these aspects from the Bible to show his idea of the decline of human history over time. He therefore idolizes the Roman unity and peace that was achieved during the time of Augustus's rule. Augustus's rule would be represented by the gold, and the current time for Dante would be representative of the clay. Since most of the weight is on the right foot of clay, Dante foretells an upcoming collapse of society. Not only does the Old Man of Crete symbolize the Bible, but it also relates to the mythological story of Saturn eating his kids. Therefore it also mixes classical and Chrisitian.