March 28, 2012

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”


THE FAMOUS SIGN AT THE GATES OF HELL:

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!”
[“
Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate
!”]
      
Dante (Dante Alighieri; 1265-1321)
       Italian poet
       From Dante’s epic poem
Inferno, the first part of his Divine Comedy (written c. 1310-1321)
       This line is the most frequently quoted part of the admonition inscribed over the entrance to Hell that Dante sees in the allegorical tour of the underworld he takes in the poem, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. It has also been translated as “All hope abandon, ye who enter here” and “Abandon all hope, you who enter here.” The full inscription above the entrance says:
    
  “Through me you pass into the city of woe: 
       Through me you pass into eternal pain: 
       Through me among the people lost for aye. 
       Justice the founder of my fabric moved: 
       To rear me was the task of Power divine,        
       Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.
       Before me things create were none, save things 
       Eternal, and eternal I endure. 
       Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”


THE HELL DIRECTOR’S VERSION:

“Hello newcomers and welcome…I’m the Hell Director. It looks like we have about 8,615 of you newbies today. And, for those of you who are a little confused, uh, you are dead and this is Hell. So, abandon all hope and, uh, yada yada yada.”
       The
“Hell Director” speaking to souls newly arrived in Hell 
       In the South Park episode
“Probably” (Season 4, Ep. 10; first aired July 26, 2000)


G.B. SHAW’S VIEW OF AMERICAN SOCIETY:

“In your dread of dictators you established a state of society in which every ward boss is a dictator, every financier a dictator, every private employer a dictator, all with the livelihood of the workers at their mercy, and no public responsibility. And to symbolize this state of things, this defeat of all government, you have set up in New York Harbour a monstrous idol which you call Liberty. The only thing that remains to complete this monument is to put on its pedestal the inscription written by Dante on the gate of Hell ‘All hope abandon, ye who enter here.’”
      
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) 
       Irish playwright and social activist
       In a speech titled “
The Future of Political Science in America,” given to the Academy of Political Science in New York City on April 11, 1933.


THE DRUG REHAB VERSION:

“Abandon all dope, ye who enter here!”
       Sign above the door of a drug rehab center 
       Fictional sign in the novel
Justice Denied (2007) by Judith A. Jance


SPACE MARINES COUNTERQUOTE:

Commodore Ross: “Who is that? Which squadron?”
Communications officer: “It’s the 58th, sir! The Wild Cards!”
Commodore Ross:
“Abandon all hope, my ass!” 
      
Commodore Glen Ross (Actor Tucker Smallwood)
       In the
“Never No More” episode of the great science fiction TV series Space: Above and Beyond. (Season 1, Ep. 14, first aired on February 4, 1996.) 

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