Part-man, part-bull, the Minotaur guards the exit of Dis and the shores of the Phlegethon. In the game, the Minotaur appears as a mechanical device used to get to the Seventh Circle. Breaking the axe it holds by swinging it into a rock wall will clear a set of chains blocking the players path.
The Minotaur was originally a beast from Greek mythology, who was killed by the Greek hero Theseus. The Minotaur was a divine punishment on the Cretan king, Minos. Despite asking for, and receiving from Poseidon, a beautiful bull for a suitable sacrifice to the gods, Minos couldn't bring himself to kill this animal, instead keeping it for himself. In retaliation, Poseidon made the bull murderously insane, and caused Minos's own wife, Queen Pasiphaë, to mate with it. The result of the union was Asterion ("Like a star"), better known as the Minotaur ("Bull of Minos").
Minos decided to use his stepson to his advantage, feeding it human flesh. He commissioned the inventor, Daedalos, to create a massive labyrinth in which to house this creature. When years later, his son was unjustly murdered by several Athenian youths, Minos demanded the lives of seven male and seven female Athenian virgins in tribute to be fed to the Minotaur, or else he would invade and destroy Athens. This brutal slaughter went on for years until, with the aid of Minos's daughter Ariadne, the Athenian prince Theseus finally killed the Minotaur and escaped.
The game reimagines this bloodthirsty beast as an enormous mechanical statue stationed at the Phlegethon in the Circle of Violence. It serves as a fitting symbol for this particular circle and as a representation of the animal-like, unreasonable brutality of violence itself.
- The Minotaur is a possible symbol of Cretan tyranny over the mainland Greek cities. The conception of the Minotaur alluded to the possibility of Greek women taken as slaves by the Cretans and publicly forced to mate with animals, human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism among the Cretan people. Evidence of possible human sacrifice and cannibalism was found at the Cretan capital of Knossos and the nearby Anemospilia.
- In "The Inferno", Dante describes seeing the Minotaur upon the shattered cliffs, guarding the entrance to the seventh circle of Hell. The reason for placing it there, as a guard, could be that Dante knew the story of the Minotaur, and of King Minos, as a tale of great tyranny and bloodshed, a sin that is punished in the seventh circle.
- In this circle, Dante must use the Minotaur statue to break the Chain of Judecca found here. He cannot reach it any other way.
- Sharing a similar brutish and animalistic nature, the Asterian Beasts are likely named after the Minotaur.
- In the anime the Minotaur is not only living, but was revealed to have being sent to Hell after its death at the hands of Theseus. It encountered Dante and Virgil and attempted to attack them but in its blind rage ended up stunning itself instead.