4degreez.com’s “Dante’s Inferno Test”

“The Dante’s Inferno Test was born in March, 2003. Since then, literally millions of people have taken the test and had their souls damned to hell. Links to the test sprung up immediately after it was put up. Sites like fark.com sent thousands of people to see which level of hell they would spend eternity in. During the first few days, the server ground to a halt under the volume of test-takers. The code had to be quickly revised to allow only 28 people to take the test per minute. Beyond that number, server performance would begin to degrade (keep in mind we have other things running on this server as well). In those early days, that quota would be maxed out within the first 10 to 15 seconds of each minute.

“After the first month, traffic began to drop and then level off. The test now averages about 4,000 takers each day. Links to the test appear on countless blogs and message boards. Many people paste their results into online profiles. The test ranks number one in Google for ‘dante’ and ‘dante’s inferno’ and number two for ‘divine comedy.’ Test takers hail from all around the world, including such countries as Denmark, Germany, Brazil, India, and Malaysia.

“In December 2005 a companion test was created, the Seven Deadly Sins quiz, so that you can see which of these mortal sins you are guilty of.” — Dante’s Inferno Test, Background Information, 4degreez.com

Take the test here.

Dante’s Inferno as written by Dr. Seuss (Reddit Writing Prompt)

In March 2018 Reddit user The2500 posted the following Writing Prompt: “Dante’s Inferno as written by Dr. Seuss.” Here is a selection from the first entry:

And gave poor Dante a very big fright

And scared, Dante was, in the woods called sin

Dr-Seuss-Cat-in-the-hat-Dantes-Inferno-Reddit-Writing-PromptsFret not, Virgil said, and gave him his hand.

‘For together we must travel throughout the land!

Through Hell and Eden, Purgatory and all!’

Dante gasped, ‘But why upon me must this fate befall?

Oh me, oh my, I think I might cry!’

Virgil smiled and shook his head.

‘O ’tis Beatrice’s call,’ he plainly said.


‘Oh yes! She wishes your spirit to be put to the test.’

Dante jumped, he leaped, he punched the sky.

‘Joy upon joys! I’ve been graced. I’m so happy, I think I might die!’

Virgil grabbed him, ‘Then let us make haste, this duo of you and I.’

And so they walked, en route to limbo.

They braced and prepared to go low. Low upon lows, through Hell and their foes.”

— “Dante’s Inferno As Written By Dr. Seuss” on Reddit.com

Contributed by Jessica Beasley (Florida State University ’18)

Tweeting with Dante (2018)

On January 1, 2018, Pablo Maurette tweeted an invitation to a “massive, open, simultaneous reading” of the Divine Comedy, one canto each day, for the beginning of the year 2018. #Dante2018 sparked a viral phenomenon, in which readers across Latin America posted quotes, images, photos, reflections, and other comments on their reading as they kept up with the canto-per-day challenge.

See the tweets at #dante2018.

See also this article in La Stampa about the phenomenon, especially in Latin America and with Spanish speakers (in Italian).

And see Jorge Carrión’s reflections on the viral phenomenon in the NYTimes Spanish edition (essay in Spanish).

Linguistic Transgression Hell


First Circle (Limbo):

Here wander the otherwise virtuous souls who were forced into grievous errors by autocorrect programs. They sit in silent masturbation, only rising once every hour to chant eerie koans such as “ducking auto cat rectal.”

Second Circle:
The Serial Comma

One half of this circle is populated by souls who are cursed to make arguments that nobody cares about except their own mothers, howling gorgons and the infernal mistresses of hell. The other half are cursed to make arguments that nobody cares about except their own mothers, howling gorgons, and the infernal mistresses of hell. The difference between these two situations seems to matter a lot to both halves. Neither side will listen to you when you suggest that they could avoid this level entirely.

Third Circle:
Unnecessary Use of Quote Marks

They may think they’re getting off the “hook,” but in this level quote marks are used as cavalierly as these souls used them in life. Does “groin-dissolving” in quotes indicate that your treatment is not really groin-dissolving, or are the quotes merely being used in the place of italics, you’ll wonder? More importantly, is the “seafood” buffet on “Sundays” “fresh” and “free”?

Fourth Circle:
Hated Abbreviations

ICYMI, this level is for people who use OPAs (off-putting abbreviations) to show off their supposed hipness and/or needlessly confuse others. New abbreviations are constantly being invented and CASJ dropped into conversation. The souls are expected to KTOS (know them or suffer). Good luck with your KLRDT (Keats-like rapidly degenerative tuberculosis) as you’re also subjected to MMMTDs (massively multi-personal medieval torture devices). Are you doing OK? No. You’re doing AWACBE (as well as can be expected), given the MNNTKUWNVECD (mind numbing need to keep up with non-vocabulary-extending cultural dross). In short (but is it really?), it’s annoying AF.

Fifth Circle:
Meaningless Truisms

This level is what it is. You be you.*

*Naturally, forced to embrace reality and themselves exactly as they are, souls on this level experience extremely high levels of depression, even for hell.

Sixth Circle:
Misused Apostrophes

Most souls on this level are cursed to endlessly hunt for things that they mistakenly stated belonged to someone or something. Where is Kid’s party? What about Nacho’s $5.75? This entire level has lost it’s way.

Seventh Circle:
Using Emojis To Sum Up Feelings or Events
That Are Way Too Complicated for Emojis To Sum Up

So you thought you were being “economical” and “Hemingwayesque” by leaving others wondering what the shit you meant by your cryptic emojis? You’re now cursed to be eternally robbed of resolution. The results of your recent chlamydia screening? 😶 And what was that “seafood” you had in the third circle? 🦄

Eighth Circle:
Needless Correctors

The souls in this circle often toured the other circles, mocking the poor souls who suffered there for their poor command of the English language. Little did they know that one of the worst circles was reserved for them and their grating tendency to overcorrect English usage at every opportunity. These are the people who can’t watch an episode of Star Trek without pointing out that “to boldly go” splits the infinitive, who cause you to cringe the instant after you say “I don’t know which restaurant we’re going to.” They are forced to compose tweets for President Trump. The punishment for writing any tweet that is even close to grammatically correct is needless physical corrections to the offender’s body. Very physical and very needless.

Ninth Circle:
Literally, the Ninth Circle

It is literally the worst circle ever.

–John Rauschenberg, McSweeny’s Internet Tendency, November 20, 2017

Contributed by David Israel

Casey Chalk, “How Dante Can Help You Become A Better Reader And Thinker This Year”

“If this new year is anything like 2017, we can expect more of the same: high-octane political quarrels, nasty public feuds, and the bane of many attempted productive work days and aspired leisurely evenings: controversial online articles and their commensurate comboxes.

“These are often ground-zero for some of the lowest, most base forms of human interaction. Many of us complain about social media’s negative effects on communication, yet we often allow ourselves to be dragged into those same pits of spiraling degradation, even if as amused witnesses.

“If we have any inclination to add “improved Internet behavior” to our New Year’s resolution list, three intellectual giants of our past can help guide us into becoming better readers and communicators. The first of our guides is that greatest of Italian poets, the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Florentine poet, Dante Alighieri.” […]    –Casey Chalk, The Federalist, January 10, 2018

Dante’s Inferno Test

“Welcome to the Dante’s Inferno Hell Test, the original and the best. This test, sponsored by the 4degreez.com community (the fine people who brought you the famous Personality Disorder Test), is based on the description of Hell found in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Answer the questions below as honestly as you can and discover your fate. Based on your answers, your purity will be judged and you will be banished to the appropriate level of hell. Abandon all hope.” [. . .]    —4degreez, 2018.

Take the test to figure out your fate in Hell here.

The Nine Circles of Xbox Live Hell

“Commenter Firescorpio takes us on a (somewhat misspelled) journey through the nine circles of Xbox Live hell, a path that transforms an innocent online gamer into a foaming, frothing, enjoyment-destroying fuckwit in today’s infographic-tastic edition of Speak-Up on Kotaku.”    –Mike Fahey, Kotaku, January 16, 2012

How To Avoid The Nine Circles of Email Hell

“Happy (almost!) Halloween! I love October — it’s definitely the best month of the fall season. All the leaves are just starting to turn colors, the weather’s perfect for a pumpkin spice latte (judge away, those things are delicious), and every marketing blog puts out their Halloween-related email advice. I figured I’d join in with today’s post on the nine circles of email hell (modeled after Dante’s Inferno), what will get you there, and what will keep you out. Pull out your high school literature knowledge and let’s jump right in!” [. . .]    — Skyler Holobach, Pardot, October 23, 2015.


Trovato canto inedito: “Quelli che se la sono cercata”

canto-inedito-nuovo-girone-lercio“ROMA – Questa è la prima terzina di un canto dell’Inferno di Dante, rimasto nascosto fino ad oggi e tornato alla luce dopo settecento anni, in cui il poeta racconta di un girone inedito, dedicato a ‘Coloro che se la son cercata.’ L’autore del sensazionale ritrovamento è Benigno Lucarelli, professore di Letteratura Italiana all’Università di Catanzaro, che ha annunciato la scoperta con un articolo su Il Volgare, settimanale specializzato in letteratura medievale e turpiloqui. ‘Il canto risulta incredibilmente attuale – ha dichiarato il professore – specie per il fatto che il Sommo Poeta sembri voler accontentate ipocriti e maldicenti inserendo gli sventurati in un girone dell’Inferno, tanto che alcuni di voi potrebbero pensare che in realtà l’ho scritto io, ieri sera, dopo aver preso qualche droga di troppo. Ma ovviamente non è così. No, davvero.'” —“Divina Commedia. Trovato canto inedito dell’Inferno: il girone di ‘Quelli che se la sono cercata’,” Lercio.it

Contributed by Chiara Montera (University of Pittsburgh ’17)


Abridged Classics: Dante’s Inferno



Comic by John Atkinson. Posted on upworthy.com.

Contributed by Pamela Montanaro