Artists » Mario Donizetti » The seven deadly sins
Mario Donizetti

L'acqua era buia assai più che persa;
e noi, in compagnia dell'onde bige,
entrammo giù per una via diversa.
In la palude va c'ha nome Stige
questo tristo ruscel, quand'è disceso
al piè delle maligne piogge grige.
Ed io, che di mirar stava inteso,
vidi genti fangose in quel pantano,
ignude tutte, con sembiante offeso.
Questi si percotean non pur con mano,
ma con la testa e col petto e coi piedi,
troncandosi co' denti a brano a brano.
Lo buon maestro disse: "Figlio, or vedi
l'anime di color cui vinse l'ira;
(Inf. VII, 103-116)

poi vidi genti accese in foco d'ira
(Purg. XV, 106)

Ed ecco a poco a poco un fummo farsi
verso di noi come la notte scuro;
né da quello era loco da cansarsi:
questo ne tolse li occhi e l'aere puro.
(Purg. XV, 142-145)

Buio d'inferno e di notte privata
d'ogni pianeta, sotto pover cielo,
quant'esser può di nuvol tenebrata,
non fece al viso mio sì grosso velo
come quel fummo ch'ivi ci coperse,
né a sentir di così aspro pelo;
(Purg. XVI, 1-6)

m'andava io per l'aere amaro e sozzo,
(Purg. XVI, 13)

e [qui] d'iracundia van solvendo il nodo.
(Purg. XVI, 24)

lume v'è dato a bene e a malizia,
e libero voler; che, se fatica
nelle prime battaglie col ciel dura,
poi vince tutto, se ben si notrica.
(Purg. XVI, 75-78)

e tosto ch'io al primo grado fui,
sent'imi presso quasi un mover d'ala
e ventarmi nel viso e dir: "Beati pacifici, che son senz'ira mala!".
(Purg. XVII, 66-69)


Following Pride and Envy, comes Wrath, the third and last form of false love the one directed against others. Wrath which blinds. The face as rough as stone and sharp as the blade of a knife, the hand hooked like a talon, the fiery glance, the sharp nose, the attitude as threatening as a storm. Suddenly Wrath breaks out, plummets down like a bird of prey, not against a person, but against a sort of dummy, where the painter wants to underline that anger is a "gratuitous" urge and, even if not completely justified, is certainly exaggerated. Wrathful people fly into a rage for no particular reason. They hurl themselves like lightning, sometimes against blameless objects and people, but more often against fate.

The blue air is darkened by threatening black clouds and seems to have an electric current running through it, with flashes of lightning which hit out blindly. The mind clouded by wrath cannot see "because it does not want to see". Wrapped in "smoke" blacker than the "darkness of hell" and than a "night deprived of all planets", it rages ferociously.

So the wrath of "Achilles, son of Peleus" who "infinite grief bestowed on the Achaeans" should not be called so, but rather indignation when faced with his own threatened freedom. And it was indignation that Jesus expressed when he threw the merchants out of the Temple. Indignation - Saint Augustin teaches is a grass which only grows green until justice is done. Perhaps an evil of our times is the swinging from the limp indifference of Sloth to the blindness of Wrath, without the impetus of a burst of indignation aroused by a deep sense of justice.