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Dante's Inferno 28-30
Transcript of Dante's Inferno 28-30
Who Dante Meets
and their Lessons
CANTO XXVIII (28)
Dante and Virgil continue on to the ninth Bolgia, where they end up in the Sowers of Dischord. Dante sees many souls deformed and limbs detached from their body with their guts spilling out. A man named Mohamet tells Dante that he is seeing the souls of scandal and schism.
He also meets Pier da Medicina, who gives a warning to Dante (same as Mohamet). Later, Bertran de Born appears and talks to Dante about his own punishment and why, showing how a soul's punishment is based on their own actions.
Canto XXIX (29)
Canto XXX (30)
Who Dante meets
and their lessons
The 'Sowers of Dischord' are souls involved in great schisms and scandals during their lifetime.
The souls are being punished for creating tension, conflict or disagreement between relatives, friends, political leaders, or even countries. These conflicts can be known as discords. (hence the title 'sowers of the discord').
Their punishment is either being ripped open, torn, deformed, or have body parts detached from their bodies.
Mahomet, who is cut from his chin to his crotch, was the founder of the Mohammedan religion. He told Dante a warning to a man named Fra Dolcino, who was a religious leader banned from the Church by pope Clement V. Mahomet said he may die soon if he is not careful.
Pier da Medicina also gave a warning to Dante about two leading citizens of Fano. They would end up in a war with their rival from Rimini and throw them overboard to gain control of Fano.
Curio has his tongue hacked off and cannot speak. He deceived a Roman and told him to cross the Rubicon, which created Roman Civil War. His punishment shows Dante what he lost due to his actions, which is his ability to speak.
Bertran de Born was involved in politics in the twelfth century and influenced Prince Henry to cause a rebellion against Henry II, King of England. He taught Dante that punishments in Hell can be based on their soul's actions.
They enter the tenth and last bolgia, and Dante sees
souls rotting in ditches, with full of disease and scabs all over their bodies. Some do not even have the ability to move their bodies up, and are eternally scratching their scabs. They see two bodies leaning against each other, and Virgil tells Dante to talk. Dante asks for their names, and they are Griffolino da Arezzo and Capocchio. Arezzo tells his story that he was burned at stake because he told someone he knows the secret of how to fly. Capocchio tells his own story: he was burned alive for alchemy (trying to create gold out of regular metals).
He also mentions that he used to know Dante.
Dante notices souls running and snapping at things wildly.
One of them sinks its teeth into Capocchio’s neck and drags
him away. Arezzo cries out that it is Gianni Schicchi, “who is insane and treats us all this way” (line 33). Later, a soul walks by almost divided in half and his name is Master Adamo. He tells his story about falsifying coinage (influenced to do it by various men) and he ended up burned to death. Then, Dante sees two other souls steaming to the right, and Adamo says they are Joseph and Sinon, who have a burning fever.
Sinon starts arguing with Adamo and Dante seems mesmerized by the debate, then Virgil says he would lose his patience if Dante continues looking at them. He felt ashamed, but Virgil did not want him to be sad. He just disliked Dante listening to the two souls arguing. Then, they moved on.
Who Dante meets
and their lessons
The Falsifers are divided into two groups. In this canto, the falsifiers are known as 'alchemists.'
Their punishment is the inability to raise their bodies up (many are sprawled on the ground or on their hands and knees, only able to crawl).
Also, many of them have scabs from head-to-toe and they itch endlessly, never finding relief.
These souls are being punished for practicing 'alchemy', considered as magic or sorcery since they were general attempts to perform successful experiments of the unusual from common objects.
Arezzo, told a man named Alberto that he could teach him how to fly. After Alberto discovered his lie, he accused Arezzo as a magician and was burned to death. His lesson was to never speak of something that could be discovered false.
Capocchio attempted to mix common metals together to create gold. He was also burned to death in Siena. Dante and he used to be in the same school. They both joked about the people who lived in Siena. His message is that even men who want to discover new experiments could end up punished.
Capocchio represents the views of the Sienese. Florentines made Siena their rival because they were considered foolish, selfish, and wasted their fortunes often.
Geri del Bello (Dante mentions him in this canto, but he does not actually see him) represents Dante's views towards his family. He wanted his cousin's murder avenged by his own family, but it never happened. Vengeance by kinsmen for a murder was allowed.
1. Souls cannot not lift up their bodies because it represents they wanted to 'stand above others' during their lifetime by creating things that were considered impossible.
2. The scabs souls end up scratching endlessly (and never finding relief) represent their unsuccessful attempts to make themselves known for their experiments.
3. Also, the scabs are a part of a contagious disease called 'leprosy.' It affects the skin and in severe cases, it causes disfigurement and deformities. Leprosy represents the need or attempt of discovering something new that can end up hurting them.
Dante doesn't particularly have any pity or sadness at all. Instead, he asked the souls who see who they are and where they lived. It shows that Dante is finally starting to feel less pity for the souls and instead, he wants to know more about them and their past life.
Mahomet represents Dante's belief that he and his first follower, Ali were the initiators of the great schism between the Church and Mohammedanism. Others during Dante's lifetime thought that Mohamet was a Christian who wanted to become pope.
Bertran de Born compares to the member of King David's council, Achitophel. He provoked David's son to start a rebellion against him. Achitophel hanged himself after his advice for the rebellion was overruled.
Before they arrive to the next bolgia, Dante starts to cry because he thinks he saw one of his family members in a ditch. He knows that he can't save his relative, but he wants his murder avenged. His name is Geri del Bello, who was Dante's first cousin.
1. Souls are ripped open or torn because in their lifetime, they have created conflicts which causes disagreements between people. Their cuts represent the schisms they created when they were alive.
2. Other souls are deformed because it represents the scandals they caused during their lifetime. The deformities can show the way scandals make conflicts and deform relationships and trust with others.
3. Also, souls who have their limbs cut off represent their own actions during their lifetime (for example, Bertran de Born has his head cut off because he 'cut off' bonds between two royal relatives.)
The falsifiers in this canto are known as impersonators, counterfeiters, and false witnesses.
Their punishment is running around madly and driving themselves crazy at everything in sight. Some souls have swelling body parts. Others smell bad from the burning fever they have.
They are punished for either pretending to be someone they are not, making an illegal copy of something original, or someone who deliberately gives false testimonies.
Virgil is angry at him for watching Adamo and Sinon argue and Dante feels shame and speechless about what he did. Although, Virgil did not make a big deal out of it.
American Hustle, directed by David O. Russell mainly involves two con artists who end up forced to make illegal deals with politicians by an FBI agent. One of the con artists impersonates herself as a British aristocrat, while the whole scam with the politician (who is mayor of New Jersey) creates tension between the main character Irwin, his whole business, and even his personal life with his wife and son. After the scam is over, the mayor ends up arrested because he accepted the illegal deals without even knowing it was all a scandal. The actions all of the characters relate to what all the souls through Cantos twenty-eight to thirty did during their lifetime (such as scandals, illegal deals with others, impersonating others, etc.), which is why they end up punished in Hell.
1. The impersonators run around madly because it shows them 'running around' as someone else to gain something for themselves.
2. The counterfeiters have dropsy, which was the term for the modern disease named Edema. The disease causes swelling organs, skins, and other body parts. It shows how these souls become 'full' of lies by deceiving others during their lifetime.
3. The burning fevers are for the liars (false witnesses) who used their minds to think up of lies, false testimonies, or general fraud by thought during their life. The fevers show how corrupt their minds are.
Gianni Schicchi was from Florence who falsified his virtuosity. He impersonated his dead father to gain selfish riches and prizes. His insanity in Hell shows how faking his virtuosity led to his punishment.
Master Adamo tells his story about falsifying coinage from Florence (influenced to do it) and arrested, then burned to death. His lesson is to not fall under the influence of what others say.
Joseph was falsely accused for trying to seduce a royal woman, but in reality it was her who tried to seduce him. His punishment shows class system unfairness in ancient times.
Sinon was a Greek who was left behind, but he knew the master plan to capture Troy. He was arrested and lied to the Trojans that they would not attack. It shows how manipulative and convincing people can be.
All the punishments in Canto thirty represents Dante's view of Fraud. It is more of a disease within them, instead outside of them. The souls sinned of Fraud are punished by a disease or an illness, not by their physical environment.