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Dante's Inferno Canto 27

Overview of Canto 27
by

Noah Clark

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of Dante's Inferno Canto 27

Dante's Inferno Canto XXVII 8th Malebolge "Although the bull was only brass, the effigy itself seemed pierced with pain: so, lacking any outlet to escape from the burning soul that was inside the flame, the suffering words became the fire's language." Canto (27. 11-15) "I was a man of arms and then a friar, believing that with the cord to make amends: and surely my belief would have come true were it not for that high priest..." (27. 67-70) "...the sin you will commit, it is forgiven. Now you will teach me how to level Palestrina to the ground.". (27. 100-102) "Saint Francis came to get me when I died, but one of the black Cherubim cried out: 'Don't touch him, don't cheat me of what is mine! He must come down to join my other servants for the false counsel he gave.'" (27. 112-116) "He took me to Minos, who eight times twisted his tail around his hardened back, then in his rage he bit it, and announced: 'He goes with those the thievish fire burns'" (27. 124-129) Dante and Virgil are in the eighth pocket or Malebolge of the eighth circle of Hell. Here they encounter a former friar named Montefeltro who has been cast into the Malebolge designated to the decievers due to his treasonous acts with Pope Boniface VIII. Pope Boniface decieves Montefeltro into giving him military advice on how to destroy Montefeltro's home town. The Pope knowingly tells Boniface of how his FUTURE sins will be forgiven, when in fact it is impossible to forgive something that has yet to happen. Therefore Dante is unjustly sentenced to Hell. Virgil and Dante find the writhing Montefeltro inside a torture device known as the Sicilian Bull, which essentially roasts the victim trapped inside the Bull. However the bull was designed so that whenever the victim would cry out in pain, it would make the sound of a bull. The Contrapasso is fitting for those of false counsel and deceivers because even though they scream and cry inside the bull that is causing them pain, their true sound doesn't come out. Much like someone today who has gained the reputation of a liar, after several lies and times of deceiving others, people learn to not trust them because essentially all that they will say is lies. Montefeltro was origionally a soldier who had a religous conversion, prompting him to leave the political realm and become a friar so that he may right his previous wrong. He was sure that this would work but unfortunately he was drug back into the dark by the least suspecting figure. Pope Boniface VIII. Pope Boniface VIII brought Montefeltro back into the political realm for his own political use. Pope Boniface wanted to get information from Montefeltro concerning how he should attack the fortress at Palestrina. He asks Montefeltro in particular considering it is his home town. However when Montefeltro hesitates to help the Pope with this act of treason, Boniface VIII knowingly lies to and takes advantage of him and tells him of how he will be forgiven of his future sins. Therefore his Contrapasso will be similar to Montefeltro for deceiving a helpless soul. Once Montefeltro dies Saint Francis tries to get him but unfortunalely a demon points out that he can't be taken because the sin that the Pope supposedly forgave him for. He says that it is impossible for him to repent of a sin that hasn't taken place yet. Therefore Saint Francis allows the demon to take him down to Minos to be judged for his acts of fraudulence in giving false counsel to the Pope in an act of treason. What professions did this spirit hold during his life? While helping the Pope, the spirit gives fraudulent counsel; at what other time was he fraudulent to himself? Explain. The Pope knew that he was lying to Montefeltro to manipulate him for his own use, therefore sending him to Hell. How could the outcome of this manipulation influence the other church official's decisions under the Pope? What kind of place would the world be if nobody valued human life of the well-being of others, in order to benefit themselves? What kind of leaders would there be?
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