As Saint John looks on from the left, the enthroned beast holds a sword and shield, symbols of its great power. On the left, followers of the beast, identified in the text as those "whose names are not written in the book of life," approach the beast, bowing down as one of its mouths opens to speak. According to the text, the beast speaks blasphemies against God. On the right, the beast raises a hand to ward off the faithful of God. They turn away from the beast in fright, while just above them appears the very bottom of a mandorla meant to indicate the presence of God.