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The meaning and origin of the expression: Abandon hope all ye who enter here

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Abandon hope all ye who enter here

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Meaning

The supposed inscription at the entrance to Hell.

Origin

divine comedy - hellFrom Dante's Divine Comedy. The 1814 translation into English by the Reverend H. F. Cary is the origin for this phrase in English, although he gave it as the less commonly used 'All hope abandon ye who enter here'.

Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.

Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here.

Such characters in colour dim I mark'd
Over a portal's lofty arch inscrib'd:
Whereat I thus: Master, these words import.

Dante Alighieri wrote this allegorical epic poem between 1306 and 1321. Virgil is the guide who takes the reader through the author's examination of the afterlife, which travels through the Inferno (Hell), the Purgatorio (Purgatory), and the Paradiso (Heaven).