ENGL220 Inferno Canto XXVI-XXXIV


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ENGL220 Inferno Canto XXVI-XXXIV

  1. 1. Dante’s Inferno Canto XXVI-XXXIV
  2. 2. Canto XXVI: Circle 8, Chasm 8
  3. 3. Dante is ashamed that 5 citizens of his city were such thieves; Florence almost deserves Prato
  4. 4. Dante sees tongues of flame, every flame concealing a sinner
  5. 5. Dante asks about a double flame, and Virgil says it is that of Ulysses and Diomedes
  6. 6. Dante really wants to hear from these guys, but Virgil says only he should ask the questions
  7. 7. Virgil asks Ulysses about his end; Ulysses explains how he led his men to watery destruction
  8. 8. Canto XXVII: Circle 8, Chasm 8
  9. 9. Another flame breaks forth in speech Dante compares to the sound of Perillus’ bull
  10. 10. It is Guido da Montefeltro The Lord of Urbino. He became a Franciscan friar in 1296. Boniface VIII summoned him from his retreat in 1297 to consult with him about the razing of Palestrina (Penestrino) twenty-five miles east of Rome, held by the Colonna family, who were in rebellion against the Church. Guido, finding it impregnable, advised Boniface to promise immunity and then break it, inducing the Colonna to surrender (in September 1298), then razing the fortress to the ground. Dante regarded Guido highly for his entering the Franciscan order (see his Convivio iv 28). Guido was born in 1223 and died in 1298. His son Buonconte appears in the Purgatorio.
  11. 11. At his request, Dante tells Guido the state of affairs in Romagna
  12. 12. Guido, a former soldier turned Franciscan monk, was promised absolution in advance if he helped Pope Boniface defeat enemies.
  13. 13. When he died, St. Francis came to collect his soul
  14. 14. But a demon claimed he must spend eternity in Hell
  15. 15. Canto XXVIII
  16. 16. The 9th chasm is littered with body parts
  17. 17. Mahomet demonstrates how he rips his own body apart
  18. 18. Running with him is his son Ali
  19. 19. Mahomet tells Dante to warn Friar Dolcino
  20. 20. Piero Medicina, who sowed discord in Romagna, addresses Dante
  21. 21. He tells Dante to warn Guido and Angiolello that Maslatestino plots to murder them
  22. 22. Pier introduces Curio, who advised Caesar to cross the Rubicon
  23. 23. Mosca de Lamberti, who encouraged the murder of Buondelmonti, speaks up
  24. 24. But Dante was especially drawn to a trunk holding up its severed head
  25. 25. Bertran de Born, a talented poet, fomented discord between King Henry II and his son Henry
  26. 26. Henry II
  27. 27. Henry Plantagenet
  28. 28. Henry II was also known for encouraging his knights to murder Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.
  29. 29. The sowers of discord, who divided others, spend eternity themselves divided
  30. 30. The poets leave Bertran and move on
  31. 31. Canto XXIX: Chasm 10
  32. 32. Dante lagged behind, staring at a relative who sowed discord
  33. 33. Chasm 10 is that of the falsifiers, stricken with disease, pain and stench
  34. 34. Dante addresses two scabby sinners who sit together
  35. 35. Griffolino responds, explaini ng he was burnt alive as an alchemist for promising to teach Albero of Siena to fly.
  36. 36. When Dante attacks the Siennese for vanity, the spirit Capocchio speaks up in defense
  37. 37. A Florentine alchemist, Capocchio was also burnt alive
  38. 38. Canto XXX: More falsifiers
  39. 39. Suddenly 2 stinging, biting creatures appear; one stabs Capocchio and carries him off
  40. 40. Griffolino tells Dante that the attacker is Gianni Schicci
  41. 41. Schicci disguised himself as a dying man and forged a will
  42. 42. His story has been made into a comic opera
  43. 43. The other spirit is Myrrha
  44. 44. She disguised herself so she could sleep with her father
  45. 45. She was turned into a tree
  46. 46. Now she is punished as a falsifier
  47. 47. Dante sees one shaped like a lute, heavy with dropsy
  48. 48. It is Master Adam, who counterfeited Florentine coins
  49. 49. Master Adam curses those who induced him to crime. He can barely move, and is thirsty all the time. He too was burned at the stake.
  50. 50. Dante asks about nearby sinners; Adam mentions Potiphar’s wife
  51. 51. She tried to seduce Joseph, and when he refused, accused him of seduction
  52. 52. The other sinner is Sinon, the liar who convinced the Trojans to accept the wooden horse
  53. 53. Adam and Sinon get into a verbal and physical battle
  54. 54. Virgil scolds Dante for his interest in this scabby pair, and they move on
  55. 55. Canto XXXI: Pit of Giants
  56. 56. Dante thinks he sees towers, but Virgil explains these are giants
  57. 57. Dante compares the size of one giant’s face to that of the bronze pine-cone
  58. 58. The giant babbles, and Virgil identifies him as Nimrod
  59. 59. Nimrod, great-grandson of Noah, was ruler of Babylon
  60. 60. Nimrod is blamed for constructing the tower of Babel
  61. 61. Next they see Ephialtes
  62. 62. Dante wants to see Briarius, another giant who challenged Jove.
  63. 63. Instead, Virgil takes him to Antaeus
  64. 64. Unchained, Antaeus is a giant who fought with Hercules
  65. 65. Antaeus picks up the poets
  66. 66. And gently deposits them in the 9th circle
  67. 67. Canto XXXII: Circle 9
  68. 68. Circle 9 is a frozen river, Cocytus
  69. 69. Embedded in the ice are the traitors
  70. 70. Virgil leads Dante across the ice
  71. 71. The outer circle is Caïna, named for Cain, who slew his brother Abel
  72. 72. The heads of two brothers, Allesandro and Napoleone degli Alberti, embody treachery to kin
  73. 73. Camiccione Pazzi tells Dante about some of the other sinners
  74. 74. Such as Mordred, who killed his uncle King Arthur
  75. 75. Facaccia de’ Cancellieri, who instigated a feud among kinsmen
  76. 76. And Sassol Mascheroni, who killed a kinsman for an inheritance
  77. 77. Moving on to Antenora, Dante kicks one head.
  78. 78. Dante and the head exchange curses; another spirit tells Dante he insults Bocca degli Abati
  79. 79. The new speaker is Buoso de Duera, who names other political traitors • Tesauro de’ Beccheria • Gianni de’ Soldanier • Ganelon • Tribaldello
  80. 80. Dante sees two heads frozen together, one chewing on the other
  81. 81. The chewer is Count Ugolino
  82. 82. Canto XXXIII: Circle 9
  83. 83. Ugolino, a traitor to Pisa, party, and family himself, tells Dante his story
  84. 84. Archbishop Ruggieri had Ugolino, his two sons and two grandsons, locked in a tower
  85. 85. The tower entrance was sealed
  86. 86. They all slowly starved to death, Uggolino last
  87. 87. Thus he chews on Ruggieri’s head for all eternity
  88. 88. The poets move on to where the heads barely appear above the ice, and a breeze is felt
  89. 89. They are in Ptolomea, where those who betrayed guest friends dwell
  90. 90. Dante promises to remove iced tears if one spirit will talk to him
  91. 91. Friar Alberigo explains that these sinner are so horrible, that their souls arrive in Hell before their bodies, inhabited by demons, die
  92. 92. This is the case with Branca d’ Oria
  93. 93. Canto XXXIV: Circle 9 Judecca
  94. 94. Judecca, named after the apostle who betrayed Jesus (Judas Iscariot), is the innermost zone of the ninth and final circle of hell. The term also hints at a manifestation of Christian prejudice--which Dante certainly shares-- against Judaism and Jews in the Middle Ages: it alludes to the names--Iudeca, Judaica--for the area within certain cities (e.g., Venice) where Jews were forced to live, apart from the Christian population. Together with Judas in this region of hell are others who, by betraying their masters or benefactors, committed crimes with great historical and societal consequences. Completely covered by the ice-- like "straw in glass"--the shades are locked in various postures with no mobility or sound whatsoever (Inf. 34.10-15).
  95. 95. Here, traitors to masters are buried completely below the ice
  96. 96. Virgil tells Dante to gaze at the central figure, giant Lucifer
  97. 97. Satan’s flapping wings create an icy wind
  98. 98. Lucifer has three heads
  99. 99. Each mouth chews a sinner
  100. 100. The center mouth chews Judas Iscariot
  101. 101. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss
  102. 102. For 30 pieces of silver
  103. 103. The other mouths chew Brutus and Cassius
  104. 104. These men conspired to assassinate Julius Caesar
  105. 105. Virgil tells Dante it is time to go.
  106. 106. To exit Hell, they must climb Lucifer’s body.
  107. 107. The poets climb out of the abyss
  108. 108. They emerge under the stars