Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Religious Symbolism in Majora's Mask Dante's Journey Part Two

Lost in the path of Hell
(5/23/2016) --- It is impossible to not notice how Majora's Mask is inspired and even could be consider a retelling of the classical work of the Divine Comedy (World of Dante) by Dante Alighieri (Wikipedia, Dante's Biography). The first time I stumbled into this idea that the game of Majora's had some inspiration by the Italian poet was three years ago on a Reddit forum (Web: Reddit) by user SwiftShadow2 and the idea stuck in my head for a while,  as the development of the theory wasn't fully explained  or worked.

 "The beginning of Dante's Inferno starts with the poet telling the tale of how he got lost in a dark wood, much like the setup into Majora's Mask. He runs into three beasts, one of which is a lion, and one of which is a she-wolf. Skull Kid represents the lion(I can't find a good represent ion on the other 2.) Unable to find a way out, he almost gives up. Then Virgil, or Tatl, show up and work with Dante/Link to help him keep moving forward. Dante walks through the gate of hell, which can be correlated to Link walking through the Cave and arriving at Clock Town. The masks that Link wears represent the 9 layers of hell and the sins he had to face along his path."  
Majora's Mask (Majora's Mask) continues after Ocarina of Time left, Link left the Kingdom of Hyrule for a personal journey to find for a dear friend who left (Navi) at the end of his last adventure. At a certain point (where the game story starts) Link found himself on an extension of the Lost Woods that we was never before and there he is intercepted by The Skull Kid who is accompanied by two fairies (Tatl and Tael) steal his Ocarina and his horse Epona. 

After Link wakes up he knows that he has to follow the Skull Kid in order to retrieve his instrument and gain his horse back. From that point I am sure many of you know how the introduction sequence or tutorial from Majora's develop as well the story. From this point we are going to see that there is a very similar momentum in of the beginning of Divina Commedia.

The Barque of Dante
The symbolism's are there and even the scenarios are similar. Link getting lost in a dark forest is as equal as when Dante acknowledge he is lost on a "dark jungle" There in the jungle he met three figures or three beasts - a lion, a leopard and a she-wolf -, which are the figures that threw Dante's outside his righteous path.

Dante was saved by the poet Virgil who became his first guide around the circles of hell up until the last four canticles before Beatrice becomes his guide. With Link a similar fate happens as essentially the duties of Virgil are taken by the Happy Mask Salesman who saves Link from his death by forcing him to retrieve the cursed mask and Tatl who acts mostly as Beatrice when she and Link ascend to the moon (heavens) for the last battle.

Madness
The role of the Happy Mask Salesman is mostly as a passive version of Virgil, he is bounded to his own personal plane of existence, he can't leave it unless everything is complete but yet he saves Link from his doom in the hand of the Skull Kid. Also it is him who made it easy to Link to traverse among the Underground Cave is similar to the idea of the Acheron River as is filled with desolation but as well an etheral component that is not described on the cantico as Dante fades until they cross to the other side.

There is a point of the theory that I disagree with "that the masks represent the 9 layers of hell: the masks themselves, could be taken as representation of the stages of each of the inhabitants of Termina and the journey Link takes towards his redemption. Each of the 24 mask can be divided into groups of six that are attached to the ascension of Link. Albeit there is really no symbol or precise order, much of the mask represent the souls and desires of the people of Termina.

There are some representation of sins that goes from motives to actions, as well virtue and how the souls ascend on their path to reach the divinity of God. Which goes when Link finally accepts his destiny that he won't find Navi on his lifetime, that he reached the knowledge of his own existence as well his own soul becomes aligned with his own destiny, much as Dante becomes aligned with God's love.

Link's journey it can be seen as a condensed version of the Divine Comedy in which there is a journey from hell to Paradiso, but as well the search for Link for his companion as Dante was for Beatrice. The four dungeons represents the steps of Earth, Hell, Limbo and Paradiso; in which Link finish his journey by ascending into heaven.


Tatl
Both Tatl and the Happy Mask Salesman help Link explore the traits that made everyone else simple mortals, on a certain degree humans, they search the sins and virtues; how everyone in the world they are try to come at peace with their own existence and the transmutation of their own sins.

The Sins in Majora's and How the Characters Come to Cope with their Eternal Existences:  One of the characters that is a clear example that is trapped in limbo is the dancer Kamaro (Majora's Mask: Kamaro) which in relation to Dante's vision of Purgatory he should be trapped in the Fifth Terrace; the place where the covetous, the place where people who love extravagant things, the people who sinned by loving good things go to get their sins expunged.

Probably Kamaro represents the idea of Purgatory as a whole; he is trapped on his desires not being able to fulfill his wish to send his passion to someone else, to transmit the knowledge about the dance moves he is been practicing over the course of an infinite loop. It's when Link shows up that he is finally to move up to heaven, as if is issues were finally resolved by some form of divine intervention due the use of the Song of Healing.

The idea that the game is mostly influenced in Purgatory, that the souls are trapped inside an status quo of their own existence could be taken seriously, as only beings such as Mikau or Darmani where able to move on after finding comfort by Link's doing and they never appeared again towards the game loop and their finally demise is aligned itself with the timeline or the plane of existence they are living in.



References:

  1. http://www.worldofdante.org/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante_Alighieri
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/zeldaconspiracies/comments/1dz5eh/majoras_mask_is_a_retelling_of_dante_alighieris/
  4. http://zeldawiki.org/Retrieval_of_the_Ocarina_of_Time
  5. http://zeldawiki.org/Catacombs
  6. http://zeldawiki.org/Kamaro

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