Thursday, December 02, 2010

Men who strut like kings

Many who strut like kings up there are such
As here shall wallow hog-like in the mud
Leaving behind nothing but foul reproach
-Canto VIII. I- Hell
The Divine Comedy- Dante
translated by Dorothy L. Sayers
And what wouldn't the peeved onlookers give to see such people struggle in dirt like pigs? But where can they find Virgil to take them there? Maybe Virgil won't come, since seldom people wake up to find themselves lost in dark woods. And they wouldn't have stumbled in to dark forest like Dante. They would have walked in to the woods seeking adventure. They might have enjoyed the gradual fading of light. They would have romanced under the starry nights. They would have embraced darkness and found it more comforting than the harsh light of the outside world. When the light can offer only sights of not actual monarchs but men who walk like monarchs then won’t Darkness be the obvious choice?

PS: Come to think of it, if Dante’s words are true then it might lead to heavy rush at the gates of hell. Even after reading the stern order to ‘Lay down all hope, you that go in by me’ at the hell-gate, instead of abandoning all hope people might walk in with anticipation and great expectations, shouting hallelujah just to watch those king-like creatures perpetually bathe in muck and then to exult with gratification like fully fed cats. It may also result in a stampede. Because isn’t it heaven, sweet redemption for you to see those you hate, disapprove in hell?

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