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WMG / The Divine Comedy

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In Limbo, Dante names a whole bunch of poets and writers of ancient epics who weren't baptised, and thus unable to enter Heaven, yet were awesome enough (to him at least) to be spared the torments of Hell itself. Somewhere in that canto, Dante basically squees in delight at being able to meet his heroes.

This poem is his attempt to join them in literary immortality.

It all makes sense.

The entire series is a Twitter narrative
The character limit is such that Dante is forced to relate his adventures in little paltry couplets tercets.

Dante's convenient little "fainting spells" are ways for him to fake unconsciousness so Virgil won't berate him for not paying attention.

It all makes sense.

That trip through hell wasn't for Dante's benefit.
It was for Hell's.

This theory is easier to accept if all you have is the Inferno.


Dante is having a Near-Death Experience
His trek through hell, purgatory, and heaven are simply a wildly detailed hallucination of his idea of what the afterlife should be like. This would explain the failures in physics and why he can name the specific people in their representative places. They're where he thinks they should go.
  • Interestingly, several critics think the "Dark Wood" that he finds himself in at the very start of the epic is a metaphor for being suicidally depressed (since the other dark wood in Inferno is inhabited by the souls of the Suicides and the self-destructive in general.)

Dante went to Hell before writing this.
He ended up getting killed, and ended up in Hell. However, being a religious man, he formulated a plan to escape. He eventually ended up in Heaven, where God, impressed by this, gave the man his life back and promised he'd go to Heaven one day if he gave an accurate description of the afterlife. Too bad for Dante Values Dissonance doesn't apply to God.
  • That's not far off, as there's already WMG that he was contemplating suicide; maybe he did commit suicide, but came back to write his tale?

The "afterlife" is really the work of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
The inferno, pergatorio, and paradiso are all colonies of Godlike Aliens that Downloaded their minds into a matryoshka brain and Harshly governs the lesser races of the galaxy.
  • The Inferno? A torture camp thats either on a lava planet or an underground base on earth disguised as Fire and Brimstone Hell to further terrify the prisoners.
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  • The Pergatorio? A labor camp/rehabilitation facility located on Earth connected to the Inferno facility. The Earthly paradise is basically the point where criminals are released and sent back to the civilized galaxy.
  • The Paradiso? Colonies set up on the other planets in the solar system and inhabited by members of the ascended race.
  • The "god" at the end of the comedy is really the dyson sphere the race lives on, the "circles' representing it's segments, and the book at the center being the star, dante described it the way he did for obvious Reasons.
  • Why did they do all this? Probably for amusement or some incomprehensible reason.

Alternative Title(s): Divine Comedy