Are you watching a movie, and you see the words “abandon all hope ye who enter here” across the top of a gate as the protagonist enters a scary property?
This post unpacks everything you need to know about the origin and meaning of this idiomatic expression.
“Abandon all hope ye who enter here” means that those people entering a room or space should abandon the hope they have of a positive outcome from their experience.
It also refers to the fact that those who proceed with entering should do so at their own risk and proceed with caution.
It’s a stern warning telling you to rethink your actions and take a new direction. While it has a physical, literal meaning, it can also hold a metaphorical meaning in life.
“As Gandalf turned to the Hobbits, he looked them in the eye and said the words, “abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
The divers approached the cave where they can across an underwater signboard reading, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.”
As Greg navigated the video game, he came across a room with “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” written in blood above the doorway.
The idiomatic proverb, “abandon all hope ye who enter here,” originates from Dante’s Divine Comedy. In Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno,” “abandon hope all ye who enter here” first appears in the epic literary masterpiece, Divine Comedy. Dante published the Divine Comedy in 1472, following him on his journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven.
Dante comes across the gates of hell during his travels, and he sees the phrase “abandon hope all ye who enter here” etched above the entrance to the underworld. However, Dante’s work featured original publishing in Italian, and the Italian version reads “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.”
The English translation of Dante’s work was published in 1814, revealing the first publication of the phrase “abandon hope all ye who enter here.” An older version of the term translates to “all hope abandon ye who enter here,” but it is a much less common variant.
The Reverend H.F. Cary would be the mind behind the 1814 translation of the original Italian version of the Divine Comedy. Here is the original English version of the verse in Cary’s translation.
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.”
Phrases Similar to Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here
- Stay away.
- Enter and die.
- Enter at your own risk.
Phrases Opposite to Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here
- Welcome, glad to have you.
- A warm welcome.
What is the Correct Saying?
- Abandon all hope ye who enter here.
Ways People May Say Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here Incorrectly
“Abandon all hope ye who enter here” suits use in lighthearted conversation, and it rarely appears in modern language as its intended use. Using the phrase as a warning would make you seem weird to others.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here
You can use the phrase “abandon all hope ye who enter here” when you’re trying to warn someone about entering a space. Typically, using the warning in social settings involves a mild threat, such as in video gaming where you’re trying to intimidate other players. It’s no longer in use as a stern warning in the modern world.