Finally, Vanni is another of the mythological characters that Dante and Virgil meet during their epic journey through the Inferno. Vanni is a sight of shame, for he has succumbed to sins of stealth and dishonesty. Even as he is hurting from loss of pride, he takes an irreverential attitude to God. It is not surprising then that he is condemned to be burnt to ashes by the ‘Lord’s reptilian avengers’. Dante and Virgil witness the culprit’s sufferings invoked by God.
“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, but not for long in the psychotic ecosystem of the Inferno: Vanni the “Beast” must spring back into discontinuous consciousness, into the anguish of the human, which compulsively tries to “steal” the divine wholeness of primordial continuity from the sacred otherness of animal nature. The agony of his volcanic egotism is his contrapasso.” (Miller, 2005, p. 234)
- Alvarez, B. “The Cross That Dante Bears: Pilgrimage, Crusade, and the Cruciform Church in the Divine Comedy.” Arthuriana1 (2006): 86+.
- Alighieri, Dante. Dante’s Inferno. Trans. Henry Francis Cary. New ed. New York: Cassell, Petter, Galpin, 1885.
- —. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. Ed. Robert M. Durling. Trans. Robert M. Durling. Vol. 1. New York: Oxford UP, 1996.
- Barolini, Teodolinda, and H. Wayne Storey, eds. Dante for the New Millennium. New York: Fordham UP, 2003.
- Miller, James, ed. Dante and the Unorthodox: The Aesthetics of Transgression. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2005.
- Raffa, Guy P. Danteworlds: A Reader’s Guide to the Inferno. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2007.