Plutus is referred to as the "God of Wealth", formerly worshipped by the Greeks and Romans. In Hell he appears as an elaborately horned, gigantic, possibly sentient statue made entirely of gold and precious stones. He holds two golden pans in his left hand, which has six fingers. His outstretched, gesturing right hand has multiple, smaller hands in place of fingertips (possibly symbolizing the grasping nature of Greed). Behind him appears to be a jeweled fan-like structure, possibly wings or a structural elaboration.
When activated, the statue's eyes will emit a bright light; this will generate a golden structure on special golden areas on the floor of the chamber, but within a short time this object will eventually erode into nothing. When encountered by Dante, Virgil refers to Plutus as a "wolf", similar to his depiction in the original Inferno.
Dante's Inferno Edit
Within the Fourth Circle, Dante comes upon the spirit of Virgil, who warns him not to let Plutus stand in the way of his quest. Dante then enters Plutus's chamber, where he is confronted by several minions of hell. Upon their defeat, Plutus's eyes will begin to shine, emitting a shaft of light that generates a large, golden, box-like object out of a golden patch on the floor. Dante can use a lever to rotate the object around the chamber. More will appear but Dante must work quickly or the structures will dissolve into dust once they are out of Plutus's sight. To recreate the structures, Dante can rotate the chamber floor until another golden area is within Plutus's gaze. Once properly aligned, the structures will allow Dante to reach Plutus's pans, revealing a Beatrice Statue and a Demon Door located on a rock shelf behind Plutus's head.
- As Dante and Virgil pass, the statue is heard babbling his phrase "Papé Satàn, papé Satàn aleppe" which is the opening line of Canto VII. Modern commentators on the Inferno view it as some kind of demonic invocation, or prayer to Satan as to imply Plutus is thanking Satan for the riches and wealth.
- Plutus or Ploutos (which means "riches") shares his name with the Greco-Roman god of wealth, the son of the goddess Demeter. Plutus was additional an alias or associate for the god Hades. Due to his position as god of the underworld, Hades was given authority over all that came from underneath the ground, including precious metals and gemstones. Hades' Roman counterpart name, Pluto, is derived from this.This also explains why the statue of Plutus is shown in Hell.
- "Plutus" is the title of a comedic play written by Aristophanes. In the play, Plutus is blinded so he will give out wealth to others indiscriminately, but upon getting back his eyesight he tries to choose who deserves wealth, which inevitably causes problems.
- Coin of Plutus is a relic located in this circle, named after this infernal deity.