Why do you think Dante has chosen to encase Satan in ice instead of a lake of lava? What is the symbolism in that?

Expert Answers info

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

One of the most impressive elements about Dante's Inferno is his configuration of the inner- most regions of Hell.  Dante clearly recognizes that there are two types of anger.  The first type is the traditional depiction of the Satanic domain.  This anger is fiery, involving demoniac laughter and yelling.  One can imagine that the searing heat from the underworld is almost an emotional expression.  It is within this that the critical element of this depiction lies for there is emotion and personal articulation.  Dante's configuration of the hell of Satan as ice reflects another and different conception of anger.  This vision is one precisely where there is no emotional contact.  This anger is one of silence, frigidity, and emotional separation.  When parents yell at kids, at least one knows that there is caring evident.  When parents go silent and effectively say, "I don't want to talk to you," the child knows that a major transgression has been committed.  It is in this...

(The entire section contains 577 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial