Decent Into Hell

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Descent Into Hell

Who or what is Lilith and what is her role in the book?

According to Charles Williams, Lilith is the apparition of all that one desires; she promises to give health, money, life, and even love but gives only false hope. She is the seductress, disguised as an old lady, who guards the grand gate of Gomorrah (Descent Into Hell 204). Williams describes Lilith as such, “Their enchantress sat there, the last illusion still with her, the illusion of love itself; she could not believe her breasts were dry. She desired infinitely to seem give suck; she would be kind and good, she who did not depend, on whom others had depended…” (207). She is not real love, but merely the chimera of love, and does not give true life. Williams further describes her, “She would not see and she would not go to the door because of that unacknowledged crowd, but she sat there, cut off from earth she had in her genius so long universally inhabited, gazing, waiting, longing for some of the living to enter, to ask her for oblivion and the shapes with which she enchanted oblivion” (207). She deceives people and gives them want they think they most desire; she traps people with their fantasies and then pulls them down into Hell (208). Lilith is portrayed as a weak, depressed old woman who guards the gate to Hades and who promises to care, nurture one’s soul, and to give what one desires. However, what she promises is actually void and empty; she really intends to starve and deprive people. She uses an illusion of fullness, but actually hands over death and destruction.
Lilith’s role in Descent Into Hell is to be the spirit of sorcery, who offers help to the living by seducing them with their own vices. For example: one of Lilith’s victims is Mr. Wentworth, who has an everlasting lust for Adela. Lilith first uses an illusion of Adela and presents herself to Mr. Wentworth as…...

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