Canto XIII: Character Bios, Synopsis & Draft One Treatment

Characters Bios


Dante is an ambitious poet who has reached the mid-point in his life. He struggles for inspiration and is looking for some meaning in his existence. The shade of Vergil (a roman poet who Dante idolizes) takes Dante on a journey through Hell. Dante both relishes and fears this prospect. He is often confused by the outward injustices of the inferno.


Vergil is the shade of the Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro who died in 19 BC  Despite his virtuous nature, he has been condemned to hell because he died before Christ. He is deeply saddened by the apparent unjustness of his sentence. He has been sent to guide Dante on a journey through the Hell so that he can recount what he has learned.


Canto XIII is the 13th song of the epic poem Date’s Inferno. In this segment Vergil and Dante encounter the Bleeding Wood, a horrific forest in which the trees scream and bleed. They are the souls of people who have died by their own hand.

Act One

Vergil leads Date into the bleeding wood, Date is asked to trust Vergil even though this place may cause him to doubt his guide. Vergil explains that this is the place in which the Harpies nest and is therefore extremely dangerous.

Act Two

Dante is confused by the disembodied wailing that he hears. Vergil asks him to snap a branch from a nearby tree to discover the source. When Date does this the tree screams loudly and begs for pity.  Date leans that the foliage of the forest are sprits who have committed acts of violence against themselves.

Act Three

Dante and Vergil are startled by the sound of rushing footsteps and beating wings. A sprit emerges who is being pursued by a Harpy. The spirit is torn apart by the creature which then turns toward Dante. Date is shielded by Vergil as they make an escape and continue on their journey.

Major Project Revised Proposal + Influence Map: Medieval Depictions of Hell

After various discussions we have decided to change our project proposal somewhat. We will still be transcribing a scene from Date’s Inferno however our approach will be quite different. The scene will no longer be a platform consisting of only three characters as initially proposed. We want to create something that would reflect the expansiveness of Dante’s epic poem.  

In searching for artistic styles to emulate we discovered several captivating depictions of hell in medieval paintings. We now propose to create a scene that emulates one of these paintings being brought to life in 3D. The viewer will be guided around the scene as if entering the painting itself. There will be a narrator recounting the poem throughout the scene.  

We decided to do this because of the interesting stylistic rules that it would necessitate. For example these paintings were created before the rules of perspective were established. Representing this in 3D is a challenge that could yield some interesting results. The scene will most likely contain at least one fully modeled 3D character. It will contain some elements of 3D in the environment as well as multiple elements comprised of 2D planes.  

This Influence map shows some examples of medieval depictions of Hell. These paintings are varied in style but they also share some commonalities. For example (as previously mentioned) there are no rules of perspective.  This means that more important elements of the paintings are simply drawn larger. It is also noticeable that demons are commonly portrayed as blue rather than the traditional red. 

Dante Drawing

This is a warm up Drawing by Domantas that he drew whilst listening to an audio recording of Dante’s Inferno.

Influence Map: Paintings and Illustrations

This initial influence map shows some paintings and illustrations inspired by Dante’s inferno. It is hoped that we will be able to derive some stylistic influence from these paintings.   


Major Project Initial Proposal

For this project we will create a scene from a chapter in Dante Alighieri's epic poem Inferno. The scene will consist of an environment plus an assortment of up to three characters. The characters will most likely consist of Dante himself, his angelic guide Vergil (the poet) and one monster.  It will be narrated with segments of the poem as the camera moves around it. There will be a specific stylistic tone that will resemble classical paintings as well as more contemporary influences. The scene is intended to be a small part of a much larger work that comprises scenes from every chapter in the poem. The scenes would be edited together in sequence as a narrator reads excerpts from the poem.