Dante’s Inferno Levels

November 15, 2011

In Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex, Zenzotli often refers to Dante’s Inferno. For instance, in regards to Max, he comments that if:

“Max’s personality was patterned on Dante’s Inferno, with inner circles providing special
torment for the worst offenders, then the behaviors he revealed in his office, were
marvelous strange.” (Sesshu Foster 49)

In his allusion, Zenzotli muses that as a result of his schizophrenia, Max’s personality resembles the levels of Hell as presented in Dante’s Inferno, which has numerous layers and is illustrated in the image below. Although each layer is different, they are united by the fact that they are all distinct sides of Max’s persona. While Zenzotli comments that Max’s condition is relatable to the levels of Dante’s Inferno, the levels analogy can also be attributed to Zenzotli’s realities. Despite existing between his two realities, it is apparent that the two affect one another. For instance, in the reality in which Zenzotli is the “Keeper of the House of Darkness”, the character of Maxtla may be an unconscious representation of Max since Zenzotli did appreciate the good nature of Max’s personalities. If this is to be considered as true, then the levels of Zenzotli’s own personality is revealed in that readers learn that there is a real Zenzotli, a Zenzotli which derives from this Zenzotli, and the characters forged from his reality which is embedded in his alternate reality. Similarly, Zenzotli often discusses levels when attempting to describe his current reality.

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