The InfernoCantos XIV-XVIICircle VII Sins of the Lion Presentation by: KorissaFelan, Matt Bogard, Rachel Ard and Daryk Estrada
Canto XIV Dante and Virgil travel through the forest of tree souls and reach the edge of the third ring of the seventh circle of hell. Sinners must lay prone against a plain of burning sand, while burning fire flakes hover down upon them. The people who suffer here are the blasphemers. Blasphemy - impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
The Blasphemers’ Zone Dante sees Capaneus among the blasphemers Capaneus was a one of the kings that attacked Thebes, (a city in Ancient Egypt.) Despite his suffering Capaneus rages relentlessly, insisting that the tortures of Hell shall never break his defiance. The Blasphemers’ punishment represents God’s all powerful fiery demonstrating that one should never rebel against God.
The Island of Crete The “Old Man” statue stands on the island of Crete. His tears form the four rivers of Hell: Acheron, Styx, Phlegethon, Cocytus, and finally the pool at the bottom of Hell. The statue itself is made of gold, silver, brass and iron and faces west toward Rome and western expansion. Its head is gold, the breast and arms silver, waist down iron and the right foot is terra cotta.
The “Old Man’s” Symbolism The digression of the quality of medal of the statue represents the decline of mankind. With each medal corresponding to an era of mankind: gold medal meaning the Golden age. His left foot, which is iron, and it symbolizes the Roman Empire being strong and firm. He leans on his right foot, which is terra cotta, illustrates the Catholic Church eroded with corruption.
Canto XV Still in the third ring Dante and Virgil cross the stream and reach the second zone of sinners. Here the Sodomites must walk continuously as the same fire flakes fall upon them as did the blasphemers. Sodomy - copulation with a member of the same sex. Their continual running suggests that they are running away from their nature however the sinners can’t outrun the power of God.
Brunetto Latini BrunettoLatini was a Florentine Guelph. He was respected for his writing and politics. He influenced Dante the Poet’s writing by teaching at the university where Dante studied. He predicts that Dante will be rewarded in the Afterlife for his heroic political actions. Dante dismisses this, saying that Fate or Fortune will do as she pleases.
More than Propoganda Throughout The Inferno Dante usually rewards his political allies and punishes his opponents by placing many Black Guelphs and Ghibellines in Hell. However even though BrunettoLatini was a political ally of Dante, a White Guelph, Dante condemns him to hell. Its significance is that it identifies that no one is above heaven and hell regardless of political party.
Canto XVI Still among the Sodomites Dante is approached by three souls. They present themselves as Jacopo Rusticucci, Guido Guerra, and TegghiaioAldobrandi. Claiming that they are from Florence they ask Dante what has happened to their city. In a pessimistic view Dante tells them that Florence is now ruled by and filled with political corruption.
Strange Request Virgil asks Dante for the cord around his waist that he wears as a belt. Then Virgil tosses the cord into a ravine for an unknown reason. Soon after Dante witnesses a creature come out of the ravine called a Geryon.
Canto XVII The Geryonhas the face of a man, the body of a serpent, and two lion paws. Dante and Virgil reach the third zone of the third ring in order to meet the Geryon. As Virgil talks with the Geryon, Dante is able to confront the usurers.
The Usurers Usurers - a person who lends money and charges interest. Fire flakes also fall on these souls also. The usurers sit down with a pouch of money around their necks that has their own family emblem on it. All of the sinners are always staring at their pouch in desire for money, but as they do they are ashamed when seeing their family emblem.
Canto XVII Continued In a failed attempt to speak to the usurers Dante leaves them and returns to Virgil. Virgil convinces the Geryon to transfer him and Dante down to the eighth circle of Hell. Dante is fearful however despite this he climbs on the creature’s back and safely travels to the next circle.