ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Remember when we talked about that American Horror Story fan theory about all the seasons being connected? Well, here's one that takes it to a hellish new level.

Red Herry hypothesizes that American Horror Story is an allegory for Dante's Inferno, placing all the characters in Hell.

Bear in mind that this is an allegory rather than a statement about what the AHS creators intended, though that's all up for speculation...

Dante's Inferno is part one of a 14th Century epic poem about the afterlife.

Botticelli's depiction of Dante's Inferno
Botticelli's depiction of Dante's Inferno

Our main character, Dante is led through the nine circles of Hell by his guide, Virgil. Naturally, Hell is a pretty vile place, with each circle dedicated to torturing a different set of wrongdoers.

The nine circles of Hell are: Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery.


In the allegory, we can see each season of AHS as a circle of Hell.

However, the circles / seasons in AHS have been updated to reveal the worst sins of the 20th Century: Murder House is straightforwardly full of the traditional culprits (especially lust) but Asylum is more about abuse of power, and Coven is centered on persecution and treachery.


Each 'Circle' traps its prisoners in one physical space

The season settings of AHS are usually enclosed, gated, symbolically removing their occupants from the outside world.

The Murder House, Briarcliff, Robichaux's Academy, and The Freak Show are all ominous circles full of torment. Release from these places usually has some kind of positive or transformative effect.


Dante's Hell had guardians placed at the entrance to every Circle

Each season has a fearsome evil villain or creature that must be faced. From the Rubber Man in Season 1, through Bloody Face, The Minotaur, and Twisty the Clown in the current season.


Recurring souls?

Many actors appear in several seasons of American Horror Story, such as Jessica Lange and Evan Peters. As most characters in American Horror Story don't repent, perhaps the souls are condemned to repeat their trials, ad infinitum, like the worst Karma that ever happened.


And my favorite part of the theory...

It's a minor point, but very evocative - as the audience, who watch the torments of each separate Circle of American Horror Story's Hell with breathless attention, we are Dante. That makes the creators our Virgil, guiding us through the horrors that await...


What do you think, everyone? Obviously, there's a lot of poetic license going on here, but the potential for the imagination is vast and satisfying... Please let me know your thoughts below, I'd love to hear your ideas!


American Horror Story as an Allegory for the Circles of Hell?

Source: Red Herry


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