Charon, by Doré 1857 (in orange ink on blue paper)
- English: Gustave Doré's illustration to Dante's Inferno. Plate IX: Canto III: Arrival of Charon. "And lo! towards us coming in a boat / An old man, hoary with the hair of eld, / Crying: 'Woe unto you, ye souls depraved!'" (Longfellow's translation) "And, lo! toward us in a bark / Comes an old man, hoary white with eld, / Crying "Woe to you, wicked spirits!" (Cary's translation)
Français : Illustration par Gustave Doré de l'enfer de Dante (La Divine Comédie). Planche IX, Chant III : L'arrivée de Caron. «Là, je vis s'avancer vers nous, dans un esquif, / Un vieillard aux cheveux aussi blancs que la neige, / Qui criait « "Gare à vous, pervers esprits damnés !" ».
And, sadly, it was Dante’s Inferno that is responsible for Hollywood’s ridiculous idea that Hades is the devil and his realm is the Hell. While in Christian mythology (largely influenced by Dante), Hell is the place of punishment for the wicked, in ancient Greek mythology, Hades was the place where everyone moved to after they died, with the Elysium for the best, Tartarus for the worst, and Asphodel Meadows for the ordinary. The idea of Charon transporting the wicked to Inferno is, therefore, absurd, as he was transporting all the dead to whatever their destination was. That said, Doré did a great job producing this illustration, so I am reproducing it here for its artistic merits.
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