The Divine Comedy
Dante finds that he has strayed from the true path in the world and found himself lost in the DARK WOOD OF ERROR. At the first light of day on Good Friday, he looks up and sees the MOUNTAIN OF JOY. Setting out for the mountain, he is blocked by the three beasts of worldliness, The LEOPARD OF MALICE AND FRAUD, THE LION OF VIOLENCE AND AMBITION, AND THE SHE-WOLF OF INCONTINENCE. Unable to proceed in the face of these obstacles, he retreats back into the wood. When all seems lost, then appears the Roman poet, Virgil (HUMAN REASON.) Virgil offers to guide him as far as he can take him. He says that he will lead him through Hell (RECOGNITION OF SIN) and then through Purgatory (RENUNCIATION OF SIN) and only then may he find the gates into Paradise. At that point, he will have reached the limits of where human reason can take him and another guide will have to take over. It is here where Beatrice (DIVINE LOVE) guides him through his ascent into Paradise and back to the world of the living.