Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

Contents: Meaning | Origin | Spread

Meaning

What does Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here mean?

Abandon all hope ye who enter here refers to an iconic quote from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

It is found in the first part of the epic poem, Inferno, where the quote is etched upon the gates of hell.

“Abandon all hope ye who enter here” is frequently referenced in popular culture, including the TV series The Office which gave us quotes like How the Turntables and They’re the Same Picture.

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Origin

What's the origin of Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here?

Dante Alighieri wrote the Divine Comedy between the years 1308 and 1320.

The epic poem was finished one year prior to the author’s death, and over the centuries it became a staple of world literature, influencing many artists and authors.

It features the author, Dante traversing the medieval vision of afterlife, which includes Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, meeting countless notable figures on his odyssey.

At the gates of Hell, he describes the scripture “lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”.

The Divine Comedy was first translated into English by Henry Francis Cary between 1805 and 1814, providing the widely recognized translation, in a slightly different form:

“All hope abandon ye who enter here.”

Spread & Usage

How did Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here spread?

The literary significance of Dante’s work led to the widespread recognition of the quote, which has been transformed into a quasi-colloquialism, comically used as a warning of peril.

“Abandon all hope ye who enter here” was featured in countless contexts over the centuries, from literary works, to drama, movies as well as TV series.

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