Aeshma is the Zoroastrian demon of wrath, rage, and fury, the deity of this ancient Iranian religion who is considered the fiercest demon, bound in opposition to the forces of Truth and Obedience. It is believed that this deity influenced the development of Asmodeus, or Ashmedai, the demon of lust, anger, and revenge of Jewish mythology that was also subsequently absorbed by Christian legend.
Through Aeshma, Sveva considers the concept of hatred and the violence to which it leads as she and her father’s spirit encounter the spheres of human evil in hell. This hell that Sveva imagines is created and enacted by humans, in contrast to the supernatural administration of the Catholic hell, and includes five spheres of sin that represent evil. Here are portrayed unjust actions inflicted by humans upon other humans and animals, which Sveva believed to be the gravest types of sin. In this, it is the turning against compassion and empathy for other beings that Sveva regards as most terrible for our humanity.