The “Hell” episode of the podcast Macrodosing features Dante’s Inferno, hypothesizing which circles of Hell contemporary figures would find themselves in. Contributor Jack Switzer notes, “The podcast episode featured lengthy discussion of Dante’s Inferno and the structure of the Dante’s version of Hell, and the impact that the Inferno had on current views of Hell. The podcast’s hosts also placed contemporary figures in the respective circles of Hell. For the discussion, the hosts first briefly described each circle and then assigned modern day celebrities. Some notable celebrity examples included Jeff Bezos for the sin of avarice and Napoleon in the eighth circle of seducers and panderers.”
“When he wrote that, I don’t think he knew that eight-hundred years from now, that would be people’s idea of what Hell was, That’s what the majority of people in this country, they don’t get it from cartoons or pop culture, but even those derive themselves from what Dante wrote about Hell, just kinda like, yeah he was a scholar, but he was also just a hundred percent speculating on what Hell looked like. The one thing that I respect the hell out of Dante for doing is in the Inferno—he just put his enemies and his contemporaries that he thought were trash poets compared to him—he just put them in Hell. He was like, ‘I’m gonna write a book about hell just so I can roast my biggest enemies and I love the pettiness.” [. . .] –PFT Commenter, Macrodosing, April 6, 2021
Watch or listen to the podcast episode here. Discussion of Dante’s Inferno begins at the timestamp, 1:10:09.
Contributed by Jack Switzer (University of Arkansas ’22)