Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wizard of Oz analysis - part 9: Clarification on where it is that Dorothy ends up


In part 2 of this analysis, it was stated that in terms of Dante's Inferno, Dorothy starts out, upon her arrival in Muchkinland, in the vestibule at the entrance to Hell, and in circles 4 and 7 of Hell (as labeled in darker blue text in the screencap at left).

Later in the analysis, it was stated that the 'Good' Witch at one point leaves Dorothy circle 5 (as shown in the two screencaps below), but that ultimately, she ends up at a lower level than that at which she first started.

Above left: Dorothy descends from the top level of the gray platform structure, which in this scenario represents the vestibule of Hell (for Dorothy), toward circle 5. Above right: Dorothy gets into a horse-drawn carriage in circle 5.

The reader of this analysis will note that circle 5 is higher than circle 7. Does this mean that things have actually gotten better for Dorothy, at some point? No. It means that her ending up in circle 5 is to be taken as being below circle 4. In fact, as we will see, Dorothy ends up in three circles each of which is two levels lower than its corresponding starting place, i.e., she ends up in circles 2 (two levels lower than the vestibule), 6 (two levels below 4), and 9 (two levels below 7), the last of these by virtue of the fact that she ends up in the part of Emerald City that is in circle 9.

Circle 2 is where the lustful are punished. Lust is an emotion or feeling of intense desire in the body.[a] One form lust can take is the lust for sex. One of the people Dante sees in circle 2 of Hell is Semiramis, who has been associated with the Whore of Babylon. The Whore of Babylon, in turn, has been interpreted by many Protestant and non-Catholic churches to be the Catholic Church which is in union with the Pope. Dante equated the corruption and simony in the office of the Papacy with the Whore of Babylon, in Canto 19 of Inferno:

Di voi pastor s'accorse il Vangelista,
quando colei che siede sopra l'acque
puttaneggiar coi regi a lui fu vista...

Translated into English, the above reads, "Shepherds like you the Evangelist had in mind when he saw the one that sits upon the waters committing fornication with the kings."[b]

Miley Cyrus (dressed in red) 'playing a whore', as a reference to the Whore of Babylon. Some of these kinds of shows are put on not only to inform us that we are currently in circle 2 of Hell, where lust is punished, but also, to tell us that the current Papacy is corrupt. And, since it is heresy that is punished in circle 6, there being a corrupt Papacy indicates that we are currently in circle 6 of Hell as well.[c]

a. Wikipedia, 'Lust'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Wikipedia, 'Whore of Babylon'. Web, n.d. URL =
c. Image from the Wikipedia Bangerz Tour page; Miley Cyrus performing in Vancouver 2014 2 (cropped) by Rob Sinclair, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


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