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Transcript of Dante's Inferno
eighth circle of Hell composed of ten bolge
punishes sinners guilty of fraud (those who have deliberately deceived others for their own personal gain)
each bolgia is dedicated to a specific kind of fraud
Bolgia 1: Panderers and Seducers
Bolgia 2: Flatterers
Bolgia 3: Simonists
Bolgia 4: Astrologists, seers, sorcerers
Bolgia 5: Grafters
Bolgia 6: Hypocrites
Bolgia 7: Thieves
Bolgia 8: Deceivers
Bolgia 9: Promoters of scandal, schism, & discord
Bolgia 10: Falsifiers
Cantos XXIV-XXX: Circle 8, Bolgias 7-10
Relevance For Punishment:
Because on Earth, the people in the 8th circle were thieves and snake-like, their bodies become overcome by serpents. The serpents kill them and their ashes rise again.
How do the transformations of the thieves relate to their sin?
"As the thief destroys his fellow men by making their substance disappear, so is he painfully destroyed and made to disappear, not once but over and over again," (205). In a way, what they have done to others is being done to them, but in a more brutal fashion and in a constant manner.
How is Dante the poet participating in the sin of theft?
Dante describes many individuals who are put in the eighth circle of Hell for their sins of theft; however, as the author of the story, Dante the poet is not always much better than them. He does not stay objective in his descriptions and choices of the people he meets in Hell, including historical characters who Dante knew and disliked in life. In addition, his Italian nationalism skews his opinions of damnation. For example, he places Robert Guiscard in the
for fighting the Greeks from invading Italy, and he damns Ulysses and Diomedes, who tricked and defeated the city of Troy. A different author may not have these same conclusions. Therefore, Dante's biased telling of this allegory may withhold or contort information from the reader, either purposefully or accidentally, committing theft against him.
Ulysses & Guido
Ulysses- enemy of Rome who is condemned for the deception of the Trojan Horse
Guido- Italian military strategist who deliberately gave Pope Boniface VIII incorrect advice on how to conquer Palestrina
both abused their talents as powerful fighters and instead used their skills to deceive people
both are punished as tongues of fire in the same ditch
considered evil counselors who used their positions to encourage others to commit fraud
A thief who stole Holy objects from a chapel in the Pistoian Cathedral. He has also committed murder before. His body incinerates after recieving a snakebite but then it rises from the ashes over and over again. He arranges figs to make the shape of "the finger" which is directed to God.
A centaur who wants to punish Fucci in the pit of thieves. He stole from a herd of cattle belonging to Hercules. When Hercules found out, he strangled Cacus to death.
Ulysses and Diomedes:
Greek heroes from the war against Troy. Punished for three offenses: Planning and executing the wooden horse invasion, luring Achilles into the war effort, and stealing the Palladium (statue of Athena) which protected Troy.
Guido da Montrefeltro:
A sly military political leader who revealed his identitiy because he believed no one could make it out of Hell alive. He made an attempt to change his evil ways after giving up the warrior life. Boniface convinced him to give advice on how to destroy the Pope's enemies (a broken promise of amnesty for the Colonna family) in exchange for the impossible absolution of this sin.
Mohammed and Ali:
The founder of Islam and his cousin/son-in-law. Mohammed caused conflict with the Christian community when he left it. Dante views both of these men as sowers of religious divisiveness.
Bertran de Born:
He carries his decapitated head because he split up King Henry II of England and his son, Prince Henry. He is Dante's example for the logical relationship between the sin and the punishment in Hell (contrapasso).
Master Adam and Sinon the Greek:
A counterfeiter and liar who act hostile ad throw shade at one another in Hell. Adam manufactued florins that only contained twenty-one of the standard twenty-four carats of gold. Sinon claimed to have escaped from his Greek comrades before they left Troy and lied to the Trojans about what the wooden horse was for.
Ulysses' Relationship to Dante:
Dante sees Ulysses a lot like himself. Ulysses journeyed through Pluto's underworld just as Dante is journeying through Satan's. The Divine Comedy is like Dante's own Christian Odyssey. Also, they both have a longing for home. Dante longs for a heavenly union with God, and Ulysses wants his marriage bed.
"The sun is warming his rays beneath Aquarius"- refers to the time period from Jan. 21 to Feb. 21 where the first warm days occur (206)
"The Phoenix dies and then is born again"- the only one of its kind, was cremated and then reborn from its ashes (209)
"I am Vanni Fucci, the beast"- refers to a treasure thief of 1293 who escaped sentencing while his accomplices did not (210)
"The centaur, Cacus..."- lived in a cave at the bottom of Mount Aventine and raided cattleherds of Hercules (213)
"for Hercules found his den..."- Hercules beat Cacus to death for his thievery, and Cacus was condemned to the lower pit of Hellfor his crime (214)
"He for whom you weep, Gaville"- allusion to Francesco dei Cavalcanti, who was killed by the city of Gaville, which lost many people in the feud that resulted when Cavalcanti's kinsmen fought to avenge his death (218)
"You shall soon feel what Prato and the others wish for you"- Cardinal Niccolo da Prato tried to reconcile warring factions, but neither side would mediate, so he cursed the city of Florence (221)
"The pyre where Eteocles and Polynices lay"- brothers who killed each other in war and were said to have hated each other so much that their shared funeral pyre burned in flames (222)
"Ulysses and Diomede move in such dress. . .they lament the ambush of the Horse"- Ulysses and Diomede tricked and defeated the city of Troy by carrying the Trojans into the city in a wooden horse (222)
"Another came along that track and our attention turned"- refering to Guido da Montefeltro, who was the wisest and cunningest man in Italy (227)
"As the Sicilian bull"- used as a method of torture by Phalaris, the tyrant of Sicily (227)
"The city. . .feels the Green Claws again"- the city of Forli was ruled despotically by Ordelaffi, whose arms were a green lion (228)
"In the war of the Trojans"- The Romans, who descended from the Trojans, fought a long series of raids from 343-290 B.C. (235)
"Felt the wet and gaping wonds of Robert Guiscard's lances"- Guiscard is in the Paradiso for his fighting against the Greeks and Saracens in their invasion of Italy (235)
"Ceperano where every last Pugliese turned traitor"- the Pugliese allowed the French free passage through Ceperano into Sicily, who they then defeated (235)
"Tell Fra Dolcino. . .he would do well to check his groceries"- leader of the Apostolic Brothers in 1300, a crusade was ordered against the order and they fled to the hills where they were starved out (237)
"As Achitophel set Absalom and David"- One of David's counselors who deserted him to assist the rebels (239)
"I heard him called Geri del Bello"- murdered in a quarrel with the Sacchetti of Florence (243)
"If all the misery that crams the hospitals of pestilence in Maremma, Valdichiano, and Sardinia. . .that might suggest their pain"- malarial plague areas of Tuscany (244)
"Stricca. . .Niccolo. . .Caccia. . .Abbagliato"- Sienese noblemen who wasted their substance in riotous living (247)
"I am the suffering shadow of Capocchio"- burned at the stake for practicing alchemy in Siena in 1293 (247)
"Hecuba--mourning, wretched, and a slave"- taken to Greece as a slave, forced to watch her son murdered and unburied, went bad in her affliction(250)
"Myrrha, vicious daughter of Cinyras"- in the pit of Hell for disguising herself to commit incest with her father (251)
"One is the liar who charged young Joseph wrongly"- Potiphar's wife, who bore false witness against the innocent Joseph (253)