Doré’s Engravings of Punishment of the Avaricious and the Prodigal

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The artist Gustave Doré engraved the entire Divine Comedy in wood. One of these 136 engravings is Punishment of the Avaricious and the Prodigal. This piece is an accurate illustration of The Inferno’s Circle Four because it closely follows Dante’s description in the text, it is creative, and it is well illustrated.
Doré’s depiction of Circle Four is accurate because it closely follows Dante’s description in the text. Dante and Virgil enter Circle Four. Dante notices that “Here the sinners were more numerous than elsewhere, and they, with great shouts, from opposite sides were shoving burdens forward with their chests” (Dante 7.25-27). In Doré’s illustration, the sinners push heavy weights around, and there appears to be a high consistency of people. From what the viewer can see of the sinners’ faces, they look like they are in pain and struggle. It is important that none of the sinners’ entire faces are exposed, as the text mentions that part of the punishment in Circle Four is that the sinners are rendered indistinguishable. Dante realizes that he cannot tell who any of the sinners are, and he asks Virgil why this is. Virgil responds: “The undiscerning life that made them foul now makes them hard to recognize” (Dante 7.53-54). Doré’s illustration precisely reproduces Dante’s imagined Circle Four as seen through his following of the text.
Doré’s illustration of Circle Four is accurate because it is creative. In the illustration, the sinners push bags of money. Nowhere in

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