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First Year Seminar, P.

Filkins Final Revision

A Journey Through Hell

"Why this is hell, nor am I out of it. Think'st thou that I, who saw the face of God, And tasted the eternal joys of heaven, Am not tormented with ten thousand hells In being deprived of everlasting bliss?" - Mephistopheles (Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus)

4. Socrates This is not what I envisioned I spent all of my life preparing for death Only to find myself in excision

From that whose pure breath Gives absolute wisdom. The whole time I took the wrong path.

So I am here in this kingdom Of those who were never wet

With the waters of Baptism, and it is seldom

That I do not regret Only seeing God’s silhouette.

5. Gilgamesh For all of my life My actions have been governed by fear. This weakness has caused much strife

To all those who were near. My quest for fame brought death to Enkidu whom I held dear.

His passing instilled a new Desire inside my heart. Seeing Enkidu’s body ravaged by disease, I had to pursue

A cure as the world around me fell apart. So I journeyed for days upon end Until I met old Utnapishtim who tried to impart

The knowledge that one cannot transcend

Mortality. But I was young and naïve, And did not comprehend

The wisdom I had received. Soon after I became afraid That the Gods might send another flood, and so I conceived

A plan to build a tower to reach the sky. Even though such was forbade By Yahweh who sent the first. I did not care and set about my mighty crusade

Against the Gods and my cursed Blood from Ham’s mistake. We were getting closer and closer until the worst

Happened. He took away our Common tongue. Leaving us scattered In our plethora of languages and power-

Less. The people scattered Into all different directions. My glorious plan had been shattered.

So now I stand here, left to my own introspection. As I isolated myself from God, so He isolates me. Such is the consequence of my rejection.

I am trapped here eternally And no one can set my words free.

6. Oedipus Hell is a cold place. I bend my head to allow Tears to fall from my face.

The House of Laïos has endowed Caïna with many a sinner. We are up to four now.

Eteocles and Polynices, neither of them winner, My father Laïos is also here. It seems with every passing generation our family tree gets thinner and thinner.

I abandoned them; I simply disappeared. I could not stand who I was. I could not stand who they were.

I rejected my sons. They were cruel, but that does Not excuse my rejection. My innocent daughters suffered because

Their father was too weak to provide protection. They had to fend for themselves. In them I saw Jocasta’s reflection.

I could not be their father because I could not love myself. So now I am immobilized in this ice shelf.

7. Dante

The air around me is frozen, as if trapped in time. I stare, transfixed, at the hideous creature ahead. Satan, too, is frozen for his great Crime.

Looking at his three faces, I am filled with a sense of dread. The sight is filled with blood and gore. It seems as if I am neither alive nor dead.

The essence of Hell seems to seep into my pores.

It is both purifying and vile. I won’t be able to handle much more.

Climbing up his filthy leg causes the bile To burn in my throat. I am descending Satan’s leg in a spiral

And getting dizzy with illness, I feel as if Earth is the most remote Place there ever was, as I climb and climb Down the Devil’s hairy coat.

Against my body I feel his grime As if his legs were covered in tar But at long last we make it out in time

To see in Heaven so very far The shining, twinkling glorious stars.