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August 02, 2012

Dante's Epic Poem _The Divine Comedy_ (Inferno)


Image Source: http://hollywoodhatesme.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dantes_inferno_canto_28_.jpg

Alighieri, Dante. The Divine Comedy. 1308-21. The Portable Dante. Ed. Mark Musa. New York: Penguin, 1995. ISBN: 01402.31145.

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Posted by lhobbs at August 2, 2012 10:50 AM

Readers' Comments:

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanisitc Tradition
30 August 2012

Question:
How does Dante (-pilgrim, -poet) negotiate the tension between the debt he owes to Virgil (and his fervent admiration for Virgil et al.) with the fact that they are eternally damned (there is no Court of Appeals here)? How does (how can) he respond to their invitation “to join their ranks”?

Answer:
Dante, the poet, negotiates the tension between the debt he owes to Virgil with the fact that they are eternally damned without sympathy – Dante is going away from the normally prescribed church practices of allowing virtuous pagans a place in Heaven by automatically damning them. Even though Dante, the poet, has great respect for Virgil and the other pagans mentioned – Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan – he still sends them directly to the first circle of hell instead of to a place in Paradise. This illuminates Dante's criticism of the church with the fact that he is being even more strict in regards to what will and will not get you into heaven. Although Virgil and the others were good people, they cannot get into Heaven because they could not and did not worship God or they were not baptized. “These souls did not sin, but they deserve to be here nevertheless… Some souls were not baptized while they were alive, and as your faith tells you, baptism opens up Paradise. Or, if the soul lived before Christ was born, the soul did not worship God in the proper way.” (Dante, 11).

On the other hand, Dante, the pilgrim, negotiates the tension by ignoring the fact that Virgil and the other “virtuous pagans” are eternally damned and relishing the fact that he is being considered a great among the greats. (Dante, 13). At being asked “to join their ranks” Dante – the pilgrim – has no problem in becoming a part of the group. He could have reacted by having the poets acknowledge the fact that even though it is not so bad in this circle of hell, it is still hell, but he does not. “…And then they [the five poets of antiquity] motioned for Dante to join them, an honor that made Virgil smile…Dante’s place as a poet is among the greatest poets of all time.” (Dante, 12). Dante loves that he is being included among the poets. He even goes as far to ask Virgil, “Which souls enjoy the honor of residing here?” (Dante, 11). This shows that Dante, the pilgrim, is not worrisome about the fact that Virgil and the others in this first circle of hell are forever damned because he is too enthralled by the fact that he is among other great poets and virtuous pagans. When first arriving to Limbo, Dante, the pilgrim, “pitied” the souls there, but once he gets to meet the great five poets of antiquity and is considered an equal among them he does not pity them any longer. (Dante, 11).

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at August 30, 2012 05:00 PM

Question: How does Dante explain his privileged role as one who, though "not Aeneas [and] not Paul" is now getting to imitate their journeys to the beyond? Why is this important? What is revealed about Dante's pilgrim state of mind? What is the pint of these nested layers of reported speech (Dante says Virgil says Beatrice says Lucia says Mary says...)? Dante recognizes the enormity of his journey as he remembers that two other great Italians have taken the same voyage before, Aeneas and St. Paul. Because of this, he feels unworthy and unable to take part. He seeks approval from his guide, Virgil, asking him if he thinks Dante is "able to undertake this journey" (pg 4). He understands the danger that he is entering into, as he embarks "not a journey of a tourist," but rather, "through a land of screams" (pg 5).

Dante also understands the importance of his pilgrimage as Virgil explains to him its purpose. Just as Aeneas and Paul brought back vital information to the land of the living, Dante must travel through Hell in order to find his way back to the "path of truth" (pg 5). In order to ease his fear and anxiety, Virgil explains to Dante how he became his guide. He tells him about how a woman named Beatrice, whom Dante loved, requested that Virgil be his guide and show him the way. She was sent to Virgil by St. Lucia, who was sent by Mary, who "helps people in need" (pg 5). This is to show that Dante is being watched over by holy women and has no need to fear the inferno.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at September 4, 2012 10:37 AM

M. Rhett Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
04 September 2012

Question: “Why can the damned see only the past and the future, but not the present? What will happen to them after the last judgment?”
Answer: During their lives, the sinners were aware of the world around them. Now, in the darkness of the Inferno, they have no idea of what occurs in the physical world. They have memories of the past, but cannot see the present. In Chapter 10 Farinata tells Dante “We in Hell have faulty vision…We do see the future, but we do not know what is happening in the Land of the Living at the present time. Only when a new soul arrives here do we get news of present events…” (Bruce, p.40) The only way to receive information of the present state of the world is through incoming sinners. All the damned in Hell have been given the ability to see the future up until Judgment Day. After that, there will be nothing left, no future can ever occur past that point. “Every soul will be in its proper place, enjoying bliss eternally or suffering torment eternally.” (Bruce, p.40).

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at September 4, 2012 06:53 PM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
4 September 2012

Question: If the light of grace is at the top of the hill, why must Dante go down in order to reach it? What other allegorical images are present are present in Dante’s landscape (e.g. what about the forest? The valley?)? What might the three wild animals symbolize?

Answer: Dante must travel down in the depths of darkness to see the brilliance of the light. This journey allows Dante to see just how far he has erred from the path to heaven. The forest is a collaborative representation of the gifts from god that mankind has shirked in its desires. It is the dark place that men of cities have come to fear. It is a place of life, even though the life in this forest is twisted and dark, compared to the nature of stone.
Lastly the three animals may represent three of the more famous Archangels: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. These are the angels that defended heaven against the upraising of Lucifer Morningstar. Their job is to defend heaven against those who are unworthy. They bar the path of Dante making him atone for his ways with his pilgrimage through hell.

Posted by: William Berry at September 4, 2012 09:37 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
04 September 2012


Question: The Lustful. Now is the time to start keeping track of where exactly each category of sinner ends up in Dante's Hell (use the maps on the guides provided on our course libguides page as an aide-memoire). The Inferno is renowned for its device of contrapasso, the punishment that fits the crime; why then should the lustful be located in the upper regions of Hell?


Answer: There are a couple reasons why the lustful sinners are placed in the upper regions of Hell. One is that the upper levels of Hell are dedicated to incontinence while the lower levels are for sins of malice. Sins of malice are considered to be more serious than those of incontinence because someone that commits an act of malice does so without any intention of doing good. The lustful ignored reason while those in the lower levels of hell refuse reason. Another reason for the lustful not being in the lower levels of hell is due to Dante's discretion of which sins he considered to be more serious. In Dante's mind, sins such as violence, fraud, betrayal, etc. are the most serious because they are only committed to cause suffering. Also, these are the sins that affected him most in his life, personally. Because he was betrayed, lied to, etc. in his own life, he felt that these sins should be punished most severely.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at September 5, 2012 12:50 AM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
4 September 2012

Question: How does Dante explain his privileged role as one who, though "not Aeneas [and] not Paul" is now getting to imitate their journeys to the beyond? Why is this important? What is revealed about Dante's pilgrim state of mind? What is the pint of these nested layers of reported speech (Dante says Virgil says Beatrice says Lucia says Mary says...)?


Answer: Dante recognizes the enormity of his journey as he remembers that two other great Italians have taken the same voyage before, Aeneas and St. Paul. Because of this, he feels unworthy and unable to take part. He seeks approval from his guide, Virgil, asking him if he thinks Dante is "able to undertake this journey" (pg 4). He understands the danger that he is entering into, as he embarks "not a journey of a tourist," but rather, "through a land of screams" (pg 5).

Dante also understands the importance of his pilgrimage as Virgil explains to him its purpose. Just as Aeneas and Paul brought back vital information to the land of the living, Dante must travel through Hell in order to find his way back to the "path of truth" (pg 5). In order to ease his fear and anxiety, Virgil explains to Dante how he became his guide. He tells him about how a woman named Beatrice, whom Dante loved, requested that Virgil be his guide and show him the way. She was sent to Virgil by St. Lucia, who was sent by Mary, who "helps people in need" (pg 5). This is to show that Dante is being watched over by holy women and has no need to fear the inferno.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at September 5, 2012 08:12 PM

Stacey Bigge, William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
7 September 2012

Question:
Some scholars maintain that the “spiritual journey of man” is one of the main themes of this work. Discuss, explain and substantiate your response with examples from the text.

Answer:
The “spiritual journey of man” is, indeed, one of the main themes in this work. This journey is one where Dante has to decipher between what is moral and what is immoral. He does this through the help of Virgil who arrives when it becomes apparent that Dante has fallen away from the path of light. Along his journey Dante has revelations that aid him in learning between what gets you into Paridisio and what will get you into the Inferno. For example, at the beginning of his journey Dante feels pity for some of those in the Inferno. “Dante was preparing for a rough journey in which he would battle the pity that he could so easily feel for other people.” (Dante, 4) However, as he continues on his journey, with Virgil as his guide, he eventually learns that every person in the different levels of hell is exactly where they should be. “Dante would rejoice when he found out how the simonists are punished in the third pocket of Circle 8.” (Dante, 80) Not only does Dante now understand that the sinners are exactly where they should be, but he is going to relish the punishment that they receive. This change in Dante’s outlook on the sinners and their punishments illuminates his pilgrimage as a “spiritual journey of man”.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at September 7, 2012 12:59 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
7 September 2012

Question:
What does the lowest part of Hell look like? Does the landscape surprise you? What did you expect? How is it an appropriate place for punishing the sinners who are found here?

Answer:
The lowest part of Hell is absolutely covered in ice. “In Austria the Danube never freezes as solidly and in Russia the Don never freezes as solidly as did that lake.” (Dante, 131) This is surprising because one’s instinct would be to think that the lowest circle of hell would be the hottest place of all the circles, overtaken with flames. However, this is not the case. The fact that it is absolutely freezing actually makes it a very appropriate place for the sinners who are here. This is the place that is farthest away from God, light, and warmth. At the beginning of the story Dante is struggling to reach the light. “But Dante looked up and saw the light shining on the top of a hill. Light shows human beings the correct path to take, and light calms fears.” (Dante, 2) This light that Dante cannot reach is a representation of God and what is good. The complete opposite of this would be a place void of any warmth and light – like the lowest circle of hell that is completely overtaken with ice and cold. The sinners in the lowest circle of hell are the worst of all the sinners in the Inferno – they are the farthest things away from those who belong in heaven. This makes the cold – which is the complete opposite how God is represented – the perfect punishment for these sinners.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at September 7, 2012 01:02 PM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Traditions
9, September, 2012

Question: Note that the sins encountered at the top of the slope are less grave than the ones at the bottom, and the ones in between are arranged in a corresponding hierarchy in which more grave sins are punished beneath less grave sins. Why do you think Dante makes lust a lesser sin than gluttony? Or, to put it bluntly: Why, for Dante, is having sex with your neighbor’s wife a lesser sin than eating an entire pizza and a twelve-pack of beer every week while you watch Monday Night Football?

Answer: Dante is by no means perfect, if he was then Dante would not be making a pilgrimage through the circles of hell. Dante is naïve and confuses the sins of lust with actions of love. Lust is a primal nature that usually results in the continuing of a race. Dante wants to believe in love since mankind is supposed to love one another. Gluttony on the other hand is a destruction of a gift that gives every man and woman. Dante views the sinners who committed adultery with pity, believing that they loved each other which is not necessarily the case. The instance when he met the woman and man in the inferno, there is the distinct feeling that it was simply a fling, for lack of a better term. (Dante35)

Gluttony is gorging yourself to a degree that is unhealthy. This destroys the body and is essentially a slap in the face of god, to go out of ones’ way in the perversion of simply over eating takes planning, and determination, where lust could simply be a single instance of bad judgment. (Dante56)

Posted by: William Berry at September 7, 2012 07:43 PM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
30 August 2012

Question:
Canto 13: The Violent against themselves: Why are the violent against themselves (suicides) punished the way they are? Remember that in Dante's system the sin itself is a form of punishment, What is the setting for this canto, and what other mythical settings does it recall? Why is Pierre delle Vigne, a suicide, located deeper in hell than Paolo and Francesca? Why should sins of violence and malice (or fraud) be punished more severely in Dante's Hell than sin's resulting from sexual appetites? What might Plato have said about Dante's ordering of the different kinds of sins? What might a roman, whose culture whose culture saw suicide as the ultimate act of self-control and self-determination, have said? Why does Dante put those who destroyed their own bodies with those who wasted material goods? What does this suggest about Dante's personal identity and selfhood?

Answer:
In the forest of the suicides, Dante encounters the violent against themselves. These sinners are punished by spending eternity as trees, who can only talk when one of their branches is broken, which hurts them but also gives them an outlet for their pain. The violent against themselves are punished in this way because it is a perfect contrapasso. Just as they hurt themselves in order to escape other pains in life, they must be hurt in order to grieve the pain they are already experiencing in death. The suicides, unlike all of the other sinners, will not be reunited on their judgment day. Instead, just as the sinners rejected their bodies in life, their lifeless bodies will hang from their branches and not be reunited with the soul.
The mythical setting that this scene of the inferno recalls is the death of Polydorus, the Prince of Troy, in the Aeneid. Virgil explains the story in Canto 13: “Aeneas broke a branch and then the shrub began to bleed and to speak to him…the prince was murdered with spears so the murderers could take his wealth. The body fell to the ground, and the spears took root and grew.” In the Inferno, when a suicide is flung to the seventh circle, their body becomes a seed and takes root in the forest of the harpies. The harpies torment the suicides by breaking off their branches for food and the branches drip blood.
While in the circle, Dante breaks the branch of Pierre delle Vigne, who committed suicide because there were faulty rumors spread about him because of the envy of Frederick II. Pierre was punished in a lower circle of Hell than Paolo and Francesca because according to Dante’s view of sin, while Paolo and Francesca could not control their lust for each other, it took self-control and self-determination for Pierre to kill himself. He knew exactly what he was doing and rejected the body God created for him by acting violently towards himself, which is also considered worse, in Dante’s mind, than lustful sin (Ch. 13 Pg. 122).
Based on the writing of Dante’s Inferno, Dante’s view of the ordering of sin seems to greatly differ from that of main stream philosophy. Plato, for example, would probably have a view that was the opposite of Dante’s for the ordering of sin in the Inferno. Since Plato, and many Roman citizens, at the time believed self-control to be the most important trait to have, the sinners who could not control themselves would more likely be placed lower in the inferno in their eyes. The sins of malice and violence would be punished in the higher circles because they were carried out with self-control, and therefore the suicides would be in a higher level of hell. In some views however, suicide might not even be in the circles of hell because of how much self-control is in fact needed in order to kill oneself. However, in Dante’s mind, the sinners that lacked self-control were punished less because in a way, they couldn't help but sin.
Dante places the suicides in the same circle as those who have wasted material goods in their lives on Earth. He does this because, while the suicides did not waste material goods, they wasted their bodies that were given to them by God, and they wasted the lives they would have carried out had they not ended them so suddenly. Based on this observation, it can be guessed that Dante had a self-loving point of view, believing that to destroy something so important is worse than any sin carried out from lack of self control.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at September 9, 2012 02:50 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02
9 September 2012

Question:

Dante-pilgrim asks what will happen to these dead folks after the last judgement (cf. Matt.24, 25). It's a theological question; does Virgil give him a theological answer? How reliable do you think Virgil's information is?

Answer:

In Canto 6, Dante asks his guide, Virgil, what will happen to the souls of the sinners after the final judgement day. Virgil makes the observation that Dante must have studies philosophy and answers, "human beings were created with both a body and a soul. Together, body and soul are more perfect than they are separately. What is perfect can feel more perfectly than what is not perfect can feel. The sinners in Hell will fee their pain more intently..." (Ch. 7 Pg. 57).

The answer that Virgil gives Dante can be considered partly, but not fully theological. The reason for this is because while Virgil mentions the way that God created man, the knowledge he draws from that one statement is purely philosophical. This conclusion is hinted at by guessing that Dante has studied philosophy. None of the knowledge shared by Virgil comes from the bible, which is the word of God, which leads to the conclusion that Virgil's answer is unreliable, especially in the setting of Hell, a place created by sin and the rejection of God's word.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at September 9, 2012 03:04 AM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
04 September 2012


Question: The Lustful. Now is the time to start keeping track of where exactly each category of sinner ends up in Dante's Hell (use the maps on the guides provided on our course libguides page as an aide-memoire). The Inferno is renowned for its device of contrapasso, the punishment that fits the crime; why then should the lustful be located in the upper regions of Hell?


Answer: There are a couple reasons why the lustful sinners are placed in the upper regions of Hell. One is that the upper levels of Hell are dedicated to incontinence while the lower levels are for sins of malice. Sins of malice are considered to be more serious than those of incontinence because someone that commits an act of malice does so without any intention of doing good. The lustful ignored reason while those in the lower levels of hell refuse reason. Another reason for the lustful not being in the lower levels of hell is due to Dante's discretion of which sins he considered to be more serious. In Dante's mind, sins such as violence, fraud, betrayal, etc. are the most serious because they are only committed to cause suffering. Also, these are the sins that affected him most in his life, personally. Because he was betrayed, lied to, etc. in his own life, he felt that these sins should be punished most severely. (pages 36-37)

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at September 9, 2012 10:00 PM

Sarah Nobles, Zach Brasseur, Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
10 September 2012


Question: You may have notices that there are two "Dantes" in this work: Dante the Poet and Dante the Pilgrim. First distinguish the two for the rest of the class. How are they different? According to come scholars, Dante the Pilgrim is an apt pupil (quick-learning student). Discuss, explain and substantiate your response with examples from the text.


Answer: Dante the Poet is the Dante we meet at the beginning of the book; he is unsure about his journey and is more pitiful of the sinners than Virgil would like. While in the fifth Circle, he states, "I have not yet asked because I'm afraid of talking too much." (Dante 36). It isn't until he talks to Farinata (the one who brought down Florence) that Dante begins to transform; he becomes very angry and critical of the remaining sinners (Dante 37). This is when he transitions into Dante the Pilgrim; he begins asking questions without fear. For example, he asks Virgil a question that he's been too scared to ask till now (why the sinners can see the past and future, but not the present) (Dante 40). He spends the rest of his journey conversing with sinners with the purpose of discovering why he was chosen to make this trip and realize where he had gone wrong in his own life. As he critiques the sinners, he learns from their mistakes. He finally realizes where he had gone in his own life, he states, "In the living world, I lost my way. . ." (Dante 64). This is where Dante the Pilgrim is "born."

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at September 9, 2012 10:46 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanisitc Tradition
9 September 2012


Question: What sin is punished in the lowest level of Hell? Why do you think Dante's considers this to be the worst sin? How are these sinners punished?


Answer: The ninth and last circle of Hell belongs to the sinners that committed betrayal. There are several people within this circle that betrayed in one way or another and they are completely frozen in ice in different positions. The four people in this circle that are the worst of all sinners are Lucifer, Judas, Brutus, and Cassius. Lucifer betrayed God, Judas betrayed the son of God, and Brutus and Cassius betrayed Julius Caesar and the formation of the Roman Empire, which in turn betrayed God's will when they assassinated Julius Caesar (Dante 321-322). Lucifer's large wings continuously flap, keeping the frozen wind circulating. He also has three faces, each face has one of the three worst sinners in their mouths, forever chewing on them. I believe that Dante considers this to be the worst sin because the author Dante himself was betrayed, and this is his personal way of announcing that those that betrayed him have terribly sinned and will spend an eternity in Hell.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at September 9, 2012 11:11 PM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02
9 September 2012

Questions: “How does Dante depict the Grafters in cantos 21-22? What kind of people are they? What kinds of names do the demons in charge of them have? Is their sin more immediate to modern readers than others discussed by Dante? How do the Grafters affect Dante?

Answer: When Dante sees the Grafters, he saw they as they lay in the burning tar, one of the sinners “floated on his back, with his hands outstretched as if he were being crucified” (pg. 197) He depicts them as being like frogs, as sometimes they had part of their bodies out of the tar, and like dolphins, for as they swam in the tar “the sinners often raised their backs out of the boiling pitch momentarily to ease their pain.”(pg.204) A Grafter is a person who accepts bribes to change a decision. “A politician who takes money to pass legislation favorable to a certain corporation is guilty of graft. A judge who takes money to rule a person innocent instead of guilty is guilty of graft.” (pg. 196) Dante calls them manipulators, and does not like them, for he was accused of being one in Florence. The demons have names such as Evil Tail, Evil Claws and so forth. They are named this to sound very intimidating and also because of how they torture the sinners by ripping their flesh. The sin of Graft is very applicable in today’s society, maybe not as applicable as lust and other common sins, but there is many occurrences in government and politics today, and is very much an immediate event. The Grafters do not as much an effect upon Dante as do the devils that guard them. Dante was interested if any were Italian, but he soon left after two of the devils fell into the tar.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at September 10, 2012 12:09 AM

Rhett Pringle
Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02
9 September 2012

Question: “The word “contrapasso” from the Latin contra and patior, means “suffer the opposite”. It refers to the punishment of souls in Dante’s Inferno, by a process either resembling or contrasting with the sin itself. Comment on the device on contrapasso used by Dante to device various punishments on the sinners. Discuss, explain, and substantiate your response with examples from the text.

Answer: Contrapasso within Dante’s Inferno is created to act as divine punishment or divine retribution to each particular sinner, in a manner fitting to the certain genre of the sin itself. “Contrapasso is divine punishment or divine retribution. It is a punishment that is appropriate for the sin.”(Intro.) The punishment for the sin is also always deserved and always fitting. Contrapasso is easily relatable to other common themes such as the idea of Karma and the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” A good example is Bertran de Born. “I urged Prince Henry of England to rebel against his father, who was King Henry II. Thus, I urged the son of a family to rebel against its head, and so my head is cut off each time I complete a journey around the Circle. My punishment is the perfect contrapasso.”(pg.265) The idea itself is very metaphorical, as within the story sinners who were guilty of flattery were now covered in crap because of the verbal crap they had given to others in the real world. Contrapasso is also a very good example of poetic justice, as evident with the wanderers outside of hell. “What they had avoided in life, they now experience in death. In life, the uncommitted souls did not follow a banner; in death, they follow a banner endlessly, running after it as it travels here and here, never remaining in one place. Similarly, in life, these non- committed souls never staked out a firm position. In life, these souls never felt deeply, either for good or for evil. Now, these souls do feel deeply, as hornets and wasps bite them. They bleed from the bites, and maggots eat the pus that flows to the ground. This punishment is fitting… Divine retribution is always deserved, and it is always fitting. Divine retribution is known as contrapasso.”(pg.23). Contrapasso itself is very fitting for both the sinners and for Dante’s Inferno.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at September 10, 2012 12:09 AM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 The Humanistic Tradition
10 September 2012


Question:Canto'28:'The'Sowers'of'Discord:'This'canto'is'remarkable'for'the'graphic'imagery'it'
presents,'as'well'as'for'the'evidence'it'offers'of'Dante's'acquaintance'with'some' aspects'of'Muslim'tradition.'In'particular,'Dante'shows'awareness'here'of'the'"Night'
Journey,"'a'mystical'experience'traditionally'ascribed'to'Mohammed,'in'which'the'
Prophet'was'angelically'transported'in'a'dreamlike'state,'first'to'Jerusalem'and'from'
there'up'through'the'successive'levels'of'heaven'to'direct'communion'with'God.'(Many'
commentators'on'Dante's'Comedy'have'noted'the'similarity'of'the'Pilgrim's'final'
experience'in'Paradiso'to'this'story.)'During'the'Night'Journey,'Mohammed's'body'was'
said'to'have'been'split'open'and'his'internal'organs'washed'and'purified'by'an'angel.'
Dante'seems'to'have'this'detail'in'mind'when'he'designs'the'particular'punishment'of'
Mahomet'(Mohammed)'in'this'canto.'Why'does'Dante'choose'to'present'this'character'
in'this'way?'The'canto'focuses'on'those'who'"tore'apart"'what'should'be'unified.'How'
does'the'imagery'help'to'communicate'this'message?'Does'it'recall'any'other'readings'
we've'had'this'quarter'or'last?'This'canto'also'features'the'shade'of'Bertran'de'Born.'
What'is'his'sin'and'his'punishment?'He'says'that'"the'counter.suffering"'is'to'be'
observed'in'him.'What'does'he'mean'by'this?

Answer: The reason Mohammed is punished by constantly being split apart is because by founding Islam, he "caused a schism in the Christian church"(116). Therefore, according to Dante, it is appropriate that he should be split up the middle into two parts. Mohammed tells Dante that everyone in that Circle of Hell "caused divisions when [they] were alive"(115). Dante also meets Bertran de Born who convinced Prince Henry of England to rebel against King Henry II. So essentially he tried to behead a royal family. So his punishment is to carry his "head like a lantern"(118). Bertran calls his punishment "the perfect contrapasso"(118) because since he tried to remove the head of a family, it is fitting for him to be without a head.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at September 10, 2012 10:53 AM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 Humanistic Tradition
10 September 2012

6. Finally, we enter Hell Proper, through the famously inscribed gate. How do you make sense of the claim that Hell was built by "Justice" "Wisdom" and "Love" ?

The Gate of Hell says "Justice moved the creator of this place. Divine omnipotence created this place. As did divine omniscience and Divine Love." (Page 18) The maker was divine authority, and is therefore the creator is clearly God himself. God is all knowing, and does not make mistakes. This is a recurring theme throughout the comedy.

The justice, wisdom, and primal love represent the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. God claims that Hell is built by justice. This is evident in that all who are in Hell, excluding Dante, are paying for their sins on Earth. They are being served justice for what they have done. God does not make mistakes, therefore we can be sure that those who are being punished rightly deserve their punishment. God is of the highest wisdom, therefore he knows who belongs in which circle of Hell and which punishment is best. His primal love was given to them on Earth and they did not appreciate it and live a righteous life.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at September 10, 2012 01:50 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 Humanistic Tradition
10 September 2012

16. When Dante the Pilgrim finally reaches the bottom on Hell, the typical reader has enormous expectations for what is down there. Does Dante's picture of Satan satisfy them? Is there anything about Dante's Lucifer that surprises you? How is he placed at the bottom of the slope? What does Dante's Lucifer look like? Why does Dante represent the ultimate evil in this way? Analyze the specific details of Satan's position, his appearance, his actions. Why does Dante depict Satan as he does?

Dante depicts Satan as having three faces, which he says is a perversion of the Holy Trinity. (Page 320) This is symbolic that he is opposite of God, he is pure evil. His faces are different colors, that of anger, impotence, and ignorance. (Pg 320)He is depicted as being frozen midway up his chest, and is violently flapping his wings trying to break free. All this accomplishes, however, is to freeze him more, and he keeps the whole lake frozen. All six of his eyes continuously cry, ad each of his mouths chews on a sinner. He chews on Judas, Cassius, and Brutus.
I felt that the depiction of Satan did satisfy my expectations, I felt that the symbolism used was very good to indicate why he was in the lowest level of Hell and that he is the opposite of God. Dante represents the ultimate evil this way to show that the ultimate evil is the opposite of God. While the Holy Trinity is comprised of good, Dante depicts an opposite, evil trinity as the faces of Lucifer. This did surprise me, I was not expecting Satan to have multiple faces on one body. I pictures the cliche, red devil with a tail and a pitchfork. I feel that the depiction of Satan in Dante's telling would be much more accurate of what the ultimate evil would look like.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at September 10, 2012 02:35 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
11 September 2012

Question:
Canto 28 (Bertran de Born):
Discuss, in detail, the use of contrapasso in this canto. What is the crime? What is the punishment? How is the punishment a good illustration of contrapasso – does it resemble the crime or does it contrast the crime? In your answer you need to quote exact passages from the text as evidence with paragraph/page numbers for easy reference. Failure to adequately do this will result in a fail for this part of the test.

Answer:
The sinners in Canto 28, in the ninth bolgia of the eighth circle of hell, have committed crimes as “sowers of discord”. (Dante para. 1, p. 115). In other words, these sinners are the schismatics. As Virgil thinks, “A schism is a break. It is especially a break within a church…However, a schism can also occur in politics, as when rival, hate-filled political parties are formed, or within families, as when a son and a father hate each other.” (Dante para. 2, p. 115).

The sinners are forced to walk in a circle while a devil inflicts wounds every time they pass. They are wounded and then heal by the end of their lap, only to be slashed again. However, the wound in the devil inflicts is not arbitrary. In fact, the wound each of the sinners receives illuminates the use of contrapasso. For example, one of the sinners, Bertran de Born, is walking around carrying his own severed head around the circle. He states, “I am Bertran de Born, and in the 12th century I urged Prince henry of England to rebel against his father, who was King Henry II. Thus I urged the son of a family to rebel against its head, and so my head is cut off each time I complete a journey around the Circle. My punishment is the perfect contrapasso.” (Dante para. 1, p.118). His punishment is the perfect contrapasso because it very much resembles the crime he committed in life – it is divine justice at its best. Just as Bertran de Born’s punishment shows, the sinners here are being split apart literally, just as they split others apart when they were alive. “Because we caused divisions when we were alive, the devil causes division in us now that we are dead.” (Dante para. 4, p. 115).

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at September 11, 2012 07:39 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanisitc Tradition
11 September 2012

Question: Canto 5 (The Lustful):
Discuss, in detail, the use of contrapasso in this canto. What is the crime? What is the punishment? How is the punishment a good illustration of contrapasso – does it resemble the crime or does it contrast the crime? In you answer, you need to quote exact passages from the text as evidence with paragraph/page numbers for easy reference. Failure to adequately do this will result in a fail for this part of the test.

Answer: Circle 2 is the home to the sinners of lust. These souls are those who had ignored reason and failed to control their desires and engaged in sin enthusiastically. Dante compares these souls to creatures when he has Francesca da Rimini address Dante as a living creature (Dante 40, paragraph 4); Virgil points out that if Dante had been older and wiser, he would have noticed this and explains that because lust is a sin of incontinence, they are compared to creatures (animals) who “rut without having recourse to reason first.” (Dante 41, paragraph 1). By acting like creatures, these lustful sinners are rejecting humanity and rejecting the obligation to control themselves and their desires. Virgil explains that by Francesca referring to Dante as a creature, she fails to recognize his humanity, as she failed to recognize and live by her own during her life as she committed sins of lust. Contrapasso is defined as “suffer the opposite,” where the punishment either resembles or contrasts the crime. The contrapasso is that those who did not control their lust were now unable to control themselves; in this circle, “They do not decide where to go; the tempest winds blow them around the Circle. The sinners control nothing.” (Dante37, paragraph 2). This is forever their punishment of these offenders. It is a remarkable illustration of contrapasso, as the punishment greatly resembles the crime.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at September 11, 2012 10:37 PM

Rhett Pringle
HON 250 CA02
Dr. Hobbs
12 September 2012

3.) Canto 32-33: “Discuss in detail, the use of contrapasso in these cantos. What is the crime? What is the punishment? How is the punishment a good illustration of contrapasso – does it resemble the crime or does it contrast the crime?”
Answer: The two sinners present in Circle 9 are Archbishop Ruggieri degli Ubaldini, a Guelf, and Ugolino della Gherardesca, a Ghibelline. Ubaldini is forever eating the head of Ruggieri, both as part of his punishment and his revenge. Although the two sinners are positioned right next to each other, they are actually in two different rings within the 9th circle of the Inferno. “Ugolino betrayed Pisa by giving good deals and castles to Pisa’s Guelf enemies; therefore, he is a traitor to country and is punished in Ring #2.”(Bruce, 305) “Ruggieri betrayed Ugolino by locking him and his progeny in a tower and starving them to death; therefore, he is a traitor to guests or associates and in punished in Ring #3” (Bruce, 306) The punishment for Ubaldini and Ruggieri is good example of contrapasso. As Ubaldini ate the flesh of his sons in life, now he is forced to eat the flesh of the one who locked him away. This example of contrapasso is a form that resembles the crime, but does not exactly reverse it as is common for the sinners and their punishments in the Inferno. “Your punishment in the Inferno is fitting. This punishment reenacts your final act on Earth: eating the flesh of your children and grandchildren. You are condemned to reenact this forever….You, Ugolino, are getting what you want here: You want to eat Ruggieri’s flesh, and you are doing exactly that.” (Bruce, 311) The punishment for Ruggieri, however, fits the sin a little more in the style of traditional contrapasso. Because of what he did to Ugolino, Ugolino now does to him. “Ruggieri, of course, placed you in a position where you were so hungry that you starved to death, so it is fitting that he is the object of your cannibalism here.” (Bruce, 312) The punishment of both sinners is an excellent example of two different forms of contrapasso; one that resembles the sin exactly, and one that resembles it in contrast.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at September 12, 2012 12:12 AM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 Humanistic Tradition
10 September 2012

16. When Dante the Pilgrim finally reaches the bottom on Hell, the typical reader has enormous expectations for what is down there. Does Dante's picture of Satan satisfy them? Is there anything about Dante's Lucifer that surprises you? How is he placed at the bottom of the slope? What does Dante's Lucifer look like? Why does Dante represent the ultimate evil in this way? Analyze the specific details of Satan's position, his appearance, his actions. Why does Dante depict Satan as he does?

Dante depicts Satan as having three faces, which he says is a perversion of the Holy Trinity. (Page 320) This is symbolic that he is opposite of God, he is pure evil. His faces are different colors, that of anger, impotence, and ignorance. (Pg 320)He is depicted as being frozen midway up his chest, and is violently flapping his wings trying to break free. All this accomplishes, however, is to freeze him more, and he keeps the whole lake frozen. All six of his eyes continuously cry, ad each of his mouths chews on a sinner. He chews on Judas, Cassius, and Brutus.
I felt that the depiction of Satan did satisfy my expectations, I felt that the symbolism used was very good to indicate why he was in the lowest level of Hell and that he is the opposite of God. Dante represents the ultimate evil this way to show that the ultimate evil is the opposite of God. While the Holy Trinity is comprised of good, Dante depicts an opposite, evil trinity as the faces of Lucifer. This did surprise me, I was not expecting Satan to have multiple faces on one body. I pictures the cliche, red devil with a tail and a pitchfork. I feel that the depiction of Satan in Dante's telling would be much more accurate of what the ultimate evil would look like.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at September 12, 2012 01:31 AM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition

7. Canto 3 (The Neutral)
Discuss in detail, the use of contrapasso in this canto. What is the crime? What is the punishment? How is the punishment a good illustration of contrapasso- does it resemble the crime or contrast the crime?

Contrapasso, as it is defined in the introduction of Dante's Inferno, is a divine punishment or divine retribution. In this type of retribution, the punishment will be appropriate for the crime (Dante, Introduction).
In Canto 3, we meet the neutral souls. We find them after the Gates of Hell, but before Hell, in the vestibule. These souls, in life, were morally neutral. They did not take a stand for anything in life. This is their sin. "While living, they were neither for good nor for evil, and now that they are dead, neither Heaven or Hell wants them" (Dante, pg. 20). This is why they have passed through the gates, but not actually into Hell itself. When they were alive, these sinners were morally passive. They did not pick a side, whether good or bad.
As their punishment, they are forced to wander aimlessly throughout the vestibule, never able to stop moving. "They did not truly live, therefore they will not truly die and go to a final destination, whether Heaven or Hell" (Dante pg 21, para 2). While these sinners wander, they are made to feel deeply, which they did not in their life on Earth. They are chased and stung by hornets and wasps, and they bleed from these bites. Maggots and flies eat the pus that pours out of the wounds onto the ground (Dante pg 21, para 4).
This punishment is a good illustration of contrapasso because it counters their sin and forces it upon them. These sinners chose to act for themselves, rather than acting for good or evil. They did not feel deep emotions or pains, and therefore did not choose a side. By making them wander aimlessly, they are having to pay for never making a choice on Earth. But when they chose not to make a choice, that was making a choice in itself. They chose not to be committed to good, therefore they could never make it to Heaven. But they also did not choose evil, which won't allow them to enter Hell either. The souls in Hell felt superior to the neutral souls because they at least made a choice, even though it was evil. By having these sinners attacked by wasps and hornets and being fed on by maggots, these sinners are forced to deeply feel the pain they refused to on Earth. Half of their punishment resembles their crimes, half of their punishment inflicts the opposite onto them. It is almost as if they are paying for their neutrality both ways, because they would not choose a side when they were alive.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at September 12, 2012 02:11 AM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02
10, September, 2012

Question: Mowbrary Allen article: “Two Dantes: Christian Versus Humanist”
In your own words, please paraphrase the author’s thesis/claim/position. What key arguments does the author use to support the thesis? You will need to dissect and outline the article to fully decipher it. In your answer, you need to quote exact passages from the text as evidence with paragraph/page numbers for easy reference. Failure to adequately do this will result in a fail for this part of the test.

Answer: Mowbrary’s account of Dante’s Inferno, claims that there are two Dantes, one who is the great Christian, and the other is a humanistic philosopher. For the second Dante, Mowbrary claims that Dante’s intention in making Virgil his guide through the Inferno was to create sorrow for Virgil, who is stuck in purgatory. (Mowbrary18). Mowbrary finds it odd, that Dante idealized this man and yet condemned him to purgatory, because Virgil did not fully embraced god. This is the unquestioning Christian Dante who shows that god’s ways transcend human judgment (Mowbrary25). Mowbrary continues on depicting his conversations with other scholars. One conclusion that many came to was that Virgil had a chance of redemption and did not fully repent (Mowbrary24pgh2). Mowbrary main argument is that Dante is in a struggle within himself seeing ideals to strive for and the questioning of the church, which at this time was unheard.

Throughout the text Dante contradicts himself between his two selves. The righteous anger he feels towards the gluttonous (Dante52), and acts against the church such as the simonist that predicts the death and arrival of the pope (Dante181-82). Another example is how he nearly worships Virgil (Dante9). Yet he makes him claim in the page before that he lived in a time when the wrong gods were worshiped condemning him to purgatory (Dante8). So Mowbrary’s thesis is correct that there are two Dante’s. From this perspective, then one could say that the narrating Dante was the humanist, while the pilgrim Dante was the Christian. Every time the narration creates an instance of sympathy for Virgil that is a humanistic act. Mowbrary claims that lines 133-138 of the poem(I have the prose so I cannot find) that forsook his chance of paradise (Mowbrary25), yet if that was fully true he would be farther down in the Inferno by Dante’s own account instead of in purgatory. However, Dante fills purgatory with great philosophers of the times before Christ, and others who did not worship god (Dante28). If Dante’s Christian side had decided more decisively, these men would have committed the worst of all sins and be sitting beside Lucifer in Tolomea.

Dante has two sides. He split between the humanistic narrator, and the Christian pilgrim journeying through hell. By being split like this he cause a contradiction within the work at many instances; such as judgment for sins, how some are punished, and which sins are more grave.

Posted by: William Berry at September 12, 2012 06:57 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
12 September 2012

Question: Canto 18
Discuss, in detail, the use of contrapasso in this canto. What is the crime? What is the punishment? How is the punishment a good example of a contrapasso - does it resemble the crime or does it contrast the crime? In Your answer, you need to quote exact passages from the text as evidence with the paragraph/page numbers for each reference. Failure to adequately do this will result in a fail for this part of the test.

Answer:
In Canto 18 of "Dante's Inferno" Dante and Virgil descend into the eighth circle of Hell. The sinners in this circle of Hell are guilty of simple fraud. In this canto, Dante and Virgil come to look upon the panders and seducers and the flatterers in the first and second Malebolgias, or pockets of the circle that are specific to the fraudulent sin.
In the malebolgia where the Panders and seducers spend eternity, the sinners are punished by being whipped as they walk in circles. The panders and seducers are punished in the same malebolgia because their sins resemble each other. The panders were pimps and sold women for sex, while the seducers sold themselves for sex. The consequences of both of these sins both caused pain to others. This punishment is a good example of contrapasso in that it resembles their crime. Dante explains as he leaves the first Malebolgia, "these sinners caused pain to others, and now they feel pain," (Chapter 18, Page 175).
In the malebolgia where the flatterers were punished, the sinners were punished by being covered in human excrement. This punishment is a good example of contrapasso in poetic justice because during life, the sinners of this malebolgia the spewed the metaphorical crap of flattery with their words. After describing the sinners' crimes, Dante explains the punishment in relation to the sin; "Now that they were dead in Hell, they were covered with literal crap: human excrement" (Chapter 18, Page 175). This punishment in death resembles the sin from life, though in a abstract and metaphorical way.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at September 12, 2012 12:05 PM

In your own words, please paraphrase the author's thesis/claim/position. What key arguments does the author use to support the thesis?


According to Rocco Montano from the University of Illinois, Dante Alighieri and Petrarch were two humanists with very different approaches. While Dante embraced the Thomist view point that Aristotlilian virtue will lead a person to God, Petrarch believed that the classic poets were the true path to virtue.


Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy is about Dante’s struggle with earthly passions and desires and religious piety as a path to truth and light. Montano illustrates this by pointing out the people in the Inferno. All of them are “absorbed in their former earthly interests” (205), but Dante, who in the poem is trying to find his way back to the straight path, is “deeply sympathetic” (205). Dante is able to move beyond this however, and continue his “journey…towards the world of light” (205).


As a humanist, Dante puts a lot of merit into the human being and what human beings are capable of. Like Thomas Aquinas, Dante believes, and it shows in his characterization of those in Paradisio, that “whatever is high and noble in man…is what God rewards” (207). But he is still able to separate the importance of human values and virtue from earthly desires. He knows that it is not the sheer beauty of his love, Beatrice, which leads Dante to God, but rather through “unceasing moral and intellectual efforts” (212) and striving to seek the middle ground between irrationalism and the denial of the supernatural.


Petrarch on the other hand, saw the Latin authors, not “the empty learning of the schools” (215) as the path to “temperance, moral values, and humanitas” (215) and would ultimately bring man back to his former glory. For Petrarch, the study of the classic poets would make Christianity stronger and “superstitions, spiritual conflicts, barbarianism, and fanaticism” (215) would vanish. He thought that the reason Christianity became corrupt in the Middle Ages was “the neglect of the Roman heritage” (216)


Petrarch is known by historians to have been vain and “incorrigibly divided between the asceticism of the Middle Ages and the pagan beauty of the Renaissance” (218). He sought a path towards God and betterment of the human, but in a less traditional manner than was common in the Middle Ages. Petrarch was able to bring “reason…classical wisdom… and confidence in man” into a Christian world that relied on Scripture and tradition.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at September 12, 2012 02:47 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.


~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at September 28, 2012 08:41 AM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
7 December 2012

The Humanistic Tendencies of Goethe and Dante
A central idea of humanism includes the belief in the power of man and the individual. Two works that relate to these ideas, and to humanism as a whole, are Goethe’s most famous piece, Faust, about a scholar turned magician, and Dante Alighieri’s Dante’s Inferno, a telling of one man’s long and treacherous journey through Hell. However, while both Faust and Dante show pro-humanistic tendencies through their writing, they are more anti-humanistic.
Goethe’s Faust and Dante’s Dante’s Inferno are more anti-humanism, but they still display at least some promotion of humanism. In Faust, Goethe displays some pro-humanistic tendencies through Faust’s soliloquy at the start of his story when he declares, “I’ve led my scholars by the nose, / And see, that nothing can be known! / That knowledge cuts me to the bone. / I’m cleverer, true, than those fops of teachers, / Doctors, Magisters, Scribes and Preachers” (Goethe I). This shout of desperation from Faust is an example of his frustration with the limits of the medieval prototype – which greatly discouraged experimentation with new ideas – and his desire to think for himself, as an individual. Moreover, this illuminates Goethe’s promotion for humanism. In Dante’s Inferno on the other hand, Dante’s pro-humanism qualities come out through his treatment of religious figures. In humanism, scholasticism – which is related to the idea that the church is the end-all-be-all of authority – is often critiqued. Dante shows a concurrence with this idea when Virgil explains, “These sinners were incontinent when it came to wealth. Neither group could control themselves. One group hoarded their wealth, while the other group wasted their wealth. Many of the sinners you see here were Popes, cardinals, and priests – such people are unfortunately prone to greediness” (Dante 25). Dante’s critique on religion further shows a level of pro-humanistic tendencies, just as Goethe’s rejection of the medieval model does the same.
While it is true that Goethe and Dante display pro-humanism inclinations, they prove to be more anti-humanistic. For example, yes, Goethe critiques the medieval model through Faust’s character, but in the end, Faust must pay the ultimate price. This ultimate price is illuminated when Mephistopheles comes to bring Faust to Hell at the very end of his story and states, “Off! Or you’re lost ere morn. / Useless talking, delaying and praying! / My horses are neighing: / The morning twilight is near” (Goethe XXV). The mere fact that Faust’s ultimate result is his eternal damnation completely overpowers the pro-humanistic ideas and brings anti-humanism to full light. Despite the fact that Faust and Dante’s Inferno were written at very different times in human history, they each take similar, yet very subtle approaches to showing their anti-humanism leanings. Dante also showed his subtle, yet substantial, ways of critiquing humanism through the eternal damnation of characters. For instance, it is clear that Dante admires poets such as Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, as shown by the fact that he considers them the “Greatest poets of antiquity” (Dante 12). Despite this admiration, all of these figures are in Hell for eternity. The understated tactics taken by both Goethe and Faust show their tendencies to lean more towards anti-humanism than pro-humanism.
Humanism is strongly related to the idea of man as the measure of all things, and the power of individualism. The approach to humanism is not always black and white, and pro-humanistic or anti-humanistic. Both Faust and Goethe may seem like pro-humanists on the surface, but if their works, Faust and Dante’s Inferno, are looked upon on a deeper level, their strong anti-humanist tendencies come through crystal clear.

Works Cited
Alighieri, Dante. Dante’s Inferno. Trans. David Bruce. September 2011. Smashwords. Web. 3 December 2012 . This work is about a man’s journey through the nine levels of Hell with his guide, Virgil. The Inferno is just one section of Alghieri’s trilogy, and will be useful in displaying Dante’s pro-humanistic and ant-humanistic tendencies all at once.

Von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. Faust. Trans. Taylor Bayard. Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Chuck Greif, and the PG Online Distributed Proofreading Team. January 2005. EBook #14591. Project Gutenberg. Web. 3 December 2012 . This piece by Goethe tells of one man’s dissatisfaction with the scholarly endeavors he has so far delved into, and the deal with the devil he dares to make. This piece not only shows Faust’s slight pro-humanistic attitude, but also illuminates his ant-humanistic stance, as well.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at December 7, 2012 11:21 AM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
8 September 2013

Question: For many Medieval minds, what was the origin of disease and most misfortune in the world?

Answer: The Bubonic Plague along with other plagues caused most misfortune in the world. The Bubonic Plague was caused by fleas that came to the empire in the fur of rats. The rats got to the city as a result of shipments coming into the city by water. The plague killed millions of people and eventually the city of Constantinople was shut down. No shipments were allowed in or out of the city. This caused even more misfortune for people because the people that were able to survive the plague or who were not infected were running out of food and other necessary supplies. This resulted in people starving to death as well as dying from disease.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 8, 2013 08:00 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
8 September 2013

Question: What do you make of the Neutrals? Why is their fate important?

Answer:The Neutrals are souls that have not made it to heaven or hell. They are mostly people who hate all other people: "this was that sect of evil souls who were hateful to God and to His enemies(Dante 62-63)." They are awaiting their turn to face the wrath of God. The Neutrals are people that are eager to gain benefit for themselves.
The Neutrals' fate is important because it is a way of showing Dante the right path to choose. It also helps him from straying off of the path he must take to reach heaven. Dante is able to witness what may happen to him if he strays.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 8, 2013 09:18 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
8 September 2013

Question: How does Dante negotiate the tension between the debt he owes to Virgil with the fact that they are eternally damned? How does he respond to their invitation "to join their ranks"?

Answer: Dante calls Virgil his master and also suggest to Virgil that there is hope for him to get out of this eternal damnation. He does this by bringing out memories that Virgil has: "did any ever leave here, through his merit/ or with another's help, and go to bliss(Dante 49-50)?" By Dante bringing this memory back into Virgil's head, Virgil may believe he himself has a shot at being chosen to leave this damnation as others have. Dante openly accepts the invitation to join their ranks and does so by walking with them and having an in depth conversation with them. Also, when Dante is taken to the meadow he is in awe at the people he sees, almost taken back as if he admires these people.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 8, 2013 09:43 PM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9th of September 2013

Question: “Where does Francesca fit in Dante’s categories of women? Is she anything like Mary, Lucia, and Beatrice?”

Answer: Dante certainly feels a great deal of sympathy towards Francesca, so much so that he faints upon hearing her account of why she and Paolo had been condemned to hell. It does seem Dante believes that Francesca was condemned for the sake of “Love,” not for “real sins”. Dante goes so far to use “love” at the beginning of three tercets in a row for emphasis on the fact that Dante believed they were in love.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at September 9, 2013 03:43 AM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9th of September 2013

Question: “What do learn in this canto [XI] about the hierarchy of sin? Like many things in the Inferno (and in the Commedia generally), sins come in a set of three. Is Dante working with the same three kinds? If you remember from HON 151 The Christian Tradition, where have we seen Augustine’s categories of sin come into play in the Inferno?”

Answer: We learn that sins that revolve around material things, like lust, greed, and gluttony are not nearly as evil as those that revolved around harming others, like violence and betrayal. He must confront violence in a set of three circles, Phlegethon, Wood of Suicides, and The Burning Sands. He confronts people who use violence as a means to incite anger and hate, warmongers essentially. He confronts those who committed violence against themselves, those who self-harm or committed suicide. Finally he faces those who committed violent acts against God, blasphemers and heretics. The reason the blasphemers are the in the deepest circle is because they committed a mortal sin by railing against a God they knew was real.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at September 9, 2013 04:39 AM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 August 2013

Question: "What, according to scholars emerging in the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, was so "dark" about the early Middle Ages?

Answer: According to these scholars, the Middle Ages were considered "dark" due to their abundance of death and their lack of innovation or achievement. Death was prominent as a result of the constant battles, invasions, and diseases. Raids were highly feared, as they could destroy a whole city in a matter of hours. The most known disease of this time period was the bubonic plague, which killed almost a third of Europe's population.

Posted by: Jen Doyle at September 9, 2013 10:33 AM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question: If the light of grace is at the top of the hill, why must Dante go down in order to reach it? What other allegorical images are present in Dante's landscape (e.g., what about the forests? the valley?)? What might the three wild animals symbolize?

Answer: Dante is lost having strayed off the right path, he now finds himself lost in the dark wood of error. Loosing hope quickly he sees a light at the top of the hill. Though Dante sees this light he is unable to follow it to salvation he must go down to a land of screams before he makes it back up to the light. This is because the path to the light is being blocked by his sins that come to him in the form of three beasts. Only once he has made it through the land of screams and becomes a man of wisdom and virtue will he be able to challenge these beasts and make it to the light. There are many allegorical images used in Canto 1 for example the dark wood representing a dark path of error and the unknown. Another allegory being the light of grace which leads to salvation, light representing good while darkness represents bad.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 9, 2013 10:34 AM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 August 2013

Answer: How does Dante explain his privileged role as one who, though "not Aeneas, [and] not Paul" (1.32) is now getting to imitate their journeys to the beyond (Aeneid VI; 2 Cor. 12: 2-4)? Why is this important? What is revealed about Dante-pilgrim's state of mind? What is the point of these nested layers of reported speech (Dante says Vergil says Beatrice says Lucia says Mary says...)?

Answer: Dante does not understand why he is chosen to undertake this special journey out of the dark wood. Dante writes, "But why am I to go? Who allows me to? I am not Aeneas, I am not Paul, neither I nor any man would think me worthy;" (Canto II, lines 31-33, page 80). This is important because it portrays Dante's idea of himself in comparison to Aeneas and Paul. He lacks confidence and greatly fears his upcoming journey will not be successful. Dante-pilgrim's state of mind is weak and cowardly until Virgil tells him why he has come to guide him. Virgil explains how word of Dante's struggle was passed down through the Queen of Heaven, Saint Lucia, Beatrice, and finally, Virgil himself. Virgil then questions Dante as to why he would still be fearful of his journey when he has three blessed ladies watching out for him in Heaven's court.

Posted by: Jen Doyle at September 9, 2013 11:50 AM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question: The fourth and fifth circles: how do the punishments of those located here fit their respective crimes? What sort of progression(s) do we seem to be following as we move further down in Hell—e.g., psychological, aesthetic, sensory, meteorological…?
Answer: As Dante and Virgil travel further down the circles of hell you can definitely see a progression not only in punishments but in the way Dante reacts to them. When Virgil proclaims in Canto VII, “Now let’s move down to greater wretchedness…” (132, 97) you can begin to see the progression of levels from bad to worse. As Dante travels through the levels of hell the punishments become less and less aesthetically pleasing; not that they were ever pleasing to begin with, but as they travel they become harder for him to bear. Dante begins to feel more and more pity for these souls, and I would say that this journey is beginning to have many psychological effects on him. He begins to realize that this is not where he wants to end up. Though these punishments may seem harsh Dante has to realize that they are contrapasso, meaning a divine punishment that is appropriate. Every sinner receives an appropriate punishment in comparison to the sin they have committed.
In the fourth circle the sinners are separates into two groups the wasters and hoarders. They push around heavy rocks clashing them together the hoarders screaming out “why waste?” and the wasters screaming out “why hoard?”. This fits their respective crimes because they now have to literally push around the heavy burden of not knowing how to handle their money. As well as clash in opinions; symbolic of pushing the rocks together, of how to use their money. The wasters asking why hoard because they had spent all their money away and the hoarders asking why waste for they had saved every penny away never using it for anything. The fifth circle is where those who have committed the sin of anger and wrath reside. They are forever doomed to the river of styx where they constantly fight among one another. They were angry throughout their lives on earth now they will forever feel wrath in the past life, for that is a fitting punishment.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 9, 2013 01:11 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 August 2013

Question: Further challenges to Virgil's authority. How does he hold up?

Answer: Virgil has been facing meek challenges in each circle which he easily refutes using his powerful authority. However, in circle 6, Virgil's authority is denied by the fallen angels. They reject Virgil's command to them that they must open the gate to the city of Dis. Virgil becomes upset and worried after his failed attempt to convince the fallen angels. Dante writes, "(Virgil) walked back very slowly with eyes downcast, all self-assurance now erased from his forehead- sighing..." (Canto VIII, lines 117-119, page 142). But, he didn't lose hope and reassured Dante that they would, in fact, get through the gates. Virgil restores faith in Dante by telling him he made this journey to the deepest depths once before, and hence knows the way well. Additionally, the Supreme Emperor rules all and has instructed Virgil and Dante to make this journey, which cannot be denied by anyone.

Posted by: Jen Doyle at September 9, 2013 01:12 PM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question: What was life in the Western world before the so-called “Dark Ages” of the Medieval period?
Answer: The Western world was very unsettled before the middle ages and “Dark Ages” came about. It was a time of barbaric invasions and constant battle for land. There were many migrants coming to be a part of the Roman Empire, and some even came to challenge it with hops of expanding their territories. Before the “Dark Ages” was a time of fall and growth and tribes tried to sturdy themselves and become set civilizations with laws.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 9, 2013 01:25 PM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question: “Why does Dante get a guide, and why should it be Virgil? What are Virgil's credentials for the job? How does Dante get around the fact that his guide and mentor is a pagan, rather than (say) a Christian saint? How does Dante-pilgrim introduce himself to Virgil? Is this any way to talk to a ghost?And where/how do you suppose Virgil learned Italian?”

Answer: Dante needs a guide because he has sinned and therefore ended up in the dark wood of error. Virgil, his guide, will help him get to the light since he can't do it alone. He is Dante's guide because Dante has spent much time studying and learning from his poetry, and Beatrice has sent him to show Dante what he must do to stay out of hell. Virgil is someone Dante easily trusts and will follow, whereas he would probably not trust a Christian Saint that easily. Virgil is someone Dante admires and approves of, which is necessary for a trip through the dark wood of error. Furthermore, Virgil is very familiar with hell, and is a fit candidate to show Dante all the different levels of hell. When they first meet, Virgil gives Dante the disclaimer that he cannot take him the entire way because he wasn't a Christian, but Dante's faith in Virgil to guide him towards the light does not change. Once Dante knows that the figure he sees is Virgil, Dante introduces himself by showing his admiration for him. He is very respectful towards Virgil but at the same time continues to ask Virgil to lead him to the light. Virgil may have learned Italian in hell.

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at September 9, 2013 02:29 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question 8: "The natural home of Virgil and his pagam colleagues. How are they punished? Why is this fitting?"

Answer: This circle of hell is designed for the people who did not sin but didn't worship God in the proper way. Some were not baptized during their life while others were not alive during the time of Jesus therefore couldn't worship Him. They are not being punished in this circle instead they sit alone and suffer, "cut off from hope, [and] live on in desire" to reach a paradise that can never be experienced. This punishment is fitting because they never sinned; there isn't anything that they did to be put through pain. The people that are in this realm are realizing what they missed out on by not worshiping God. They continue to be lost, as they were during their life.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at September 9, 2013 02:59 PM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question: “What is Dante-pilgrim's danger in this canto? How does Virgil address this danger? What is the lesson encoded in this “veil of verses”?

Answer: In this Canto, Virgil and Dante cannot get past the gate and are waiting for help when the Furies and Medusa are guarding the tombs. Virgil tells Dante to cover his eyes because if he looks at Medusa, he will turn into stone. Virgil himself covered Dante's eyes as well, showing that he underestimates God and God's helpers. In the end, an angel comes to open the gate and Virgil and Date pass through without resistance.

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at September 9, 2013 03:09 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250: The Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question 15: "The Gluttonous: how do you explain the weather in this circle?"

Answer: The weather in this circle is windy, stormy and uncontrollable. This type of weather is appropriate for this circle because it is full of people who had uncontrollable lust. They would act on lust without thinking. They were much like the wind that they experience now, they go whichever way their lust points them.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at September 9, 2013 03:10 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question: What was life like in the Western World before the so-called "Dark Ages" of the Medieval period?"

Answer: Before the "Dark Ages" the Western World was ruled by an Empire and urban life flourished. The classical period came before the "Dark Ages" and that period was seen as bright, new and improving. Catholicism was scarce, and religion didn't really matter.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at September 9, 2013 03:16 PM

HON 250

1. The most accepted time frame for the European “Dark Ages” is between the 5th and 15th centuries. By the 5th century, the Roman Empire had just fallen (c. 476) and had led to a time of chaos. I have no other way to turn this into anything longer than these two sentences. My bad.

Posted by: Burke Tomaselli at September 9, 2013 03:29 PM

HON 250

Hell was built by “justice” “wisdom” & “love” as means for justification. On the gates is inscribed “Justice moved my great maker.” I see both the quote and concept of a “just” Hell as a jury of sorts. Hell is conceptualized as a rehabilitation center/punishment to atone for the sins cast by its inhabitants. It is crafted out of love, because the idea of Hell is supposed to be a means to teach those who inhabit it to learn from their mistakes of sin. The wisdom of Hell is demonstrated throughout the entire book (so far) as a reinforcement for the living to abide to the rules of God.

Posted by: Burke Tomaselli at September 9, 2013 03:31 PM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition
9 September 2013

Question: “According to the scholar interviewed in the documentary, what would have been ironic about medieval peasants sleeping in thatched-roof shacks build adjacent to the Aqueducts or Coliseums of antiquity?”

Answer: Roman Aqueducts or Coliseums of antiquity represented how advanced the Romans were and how much more they had learned and applied in order to make life easier. This, compared to the thatched-roof shacks, marks the great difference between the Roman culture, which was well rounded and far more advanced than the tribes that took over and barely existed while destroying all the knowledge and improvement that the Romans had accomplished.

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at September 9, 2013 03:35 PM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 September 2013

Revision

Question: If the light of grace is at the top of the hill, why must Dante go down in order to reach it? What other allegorical images are present in Dante's landscape (e.g., what about the forests? the valley?)? What might the three wild animals symbolize?

Answer: In this written response I will be quoting passages from Dante’s Inferno: A retelling in prose By David Bruce the Smashwords Edition. Dante is lost having strayed off the right path, he now finds himself in the dark wood of error. Just as he begins to lose he sees a light at the top of the hill. Though Dante sees this light he is unable to follow it to salvation. He must go down to a land of screams before he makes it back up to the light. This is because the path to the light is being blocked by his sins that come to him in the form of three beasts. Only once he has made it through the land of screams and becomes a man of wisdom and virtue will he be able to challenge these beasts and make it to the light. There are many allegorical images used in Canto 1 for example the dark wood representing a dark path of error and the unknown. Another allegory being the light of grace which leads to salvation as Bruce states, “Light shows human beings the correct path to take, and light calms fears” (Bruce 2). In this story you can tell that light represents good while darkness represents bad.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 10, 2013 06:14 PM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 September 2013

Question: The fourth and fifth circles: how do the punishments of those located here fit their respective crimes? What sort of progression(s) do we seem to be following as we move further down in Hell—e.g., psychological, aesthetic, sensory, meteorological…?

Answer: As Dante and Virgil travel further down the circles of hell you can definitely see a progression not only in punishments but in the way Dante reacts to them. When Virgil proclaims in Canto VII, “Now let’s move down to greater wretchednes” (132, Line 97) you can begin to see the progression of levels from bad to worse. As Dante travels through the levels of hell the punishments become less and less aesthetically pleasing; not that they were ever pleasing to begin with, but as they travel they become harder for him to bear. Dante begins to feel more and more pity for these souls, and I would say that this journey is beginning to have many psychological effects on him. He begins to realize that this is not where he wants to end up. Though these punishments may seem harsh Dante has to realize that they are contrapasso, meaning a divine punishment that is appropriate. Every sinner receives an appropriate punishment in comparison to the sin they have committed.
In the fourth circle the sinners are separates into two groups the wasters and hoarders. They push around heavy rocks clashing them together the hoarders screaming out “why waste?” and the wasters screaming out “why hoard?” (130, Line 30). This fits their respective crimes because they now have to literally push around the heavy burden of not knowing how to handle their money. As well as clash in opinions; symbolic of pushing the rocks together, of how to use their money. The wasters asking why hoard because they had spent all their money away and the hoarders asking why waste for they had saved every penny away never using it for anything. The fifth circle is where those who have committed the sin of anger and wrath reside. They are forever doomed to the river of styx where they constantly fight among one another. They were angry throughout their lives on earth now they will forever feel wrath in the past life, for that is a fitting punishment.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 10, 2013 06:24 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
8 September 2013

Question: For many medieval minds, what was the origin of disease and most misfortune in the world?

Answer: The Bubonic Plague along with other plagues caused most misfortune in the world. The Bubonic Plague was caused by fleas that came to the empire in the fur of rats. The rats got to the city as a result of shipments coming into the city by water. The plague killed millions of people and eventually the city of Constantinople was shut down. No shipments were allowed in or out of the city. This caused even more misfortune for people because the people that were able to survive the plague or who were not infected were running out of food and other necessary supplies. This resulted in people starving to death as well as dying from disease.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 10, 2013 06:45 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
8 September 2013

Question: What do you make of the Neutrals? Why is their fate important?

Answer: The Neutrals are souls that have not made it to heaven or hell. They are mostly people who hate all other people: "this was that sect of evil souls who were hateful to God and to His enemies” (Dante 91 line 62-3). They are awaiting their turn to face the wrath of God. The Neutrals are people that are eager to gain benefit for themselves.
The Neutrals' fate is important because it is a way of showing Dante the right path to choose. It also helps him from straying off of the path he must take to reach heaven. Dante is able to witness what may happen to him if he strays.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 10, 2013 06:46 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
8 September 2013

Question: How does Dante negotiate the tension between the debt he owes to Virgil with the fact that they are eternally damned? How does he respond to their invitation "to join their ranks"?

Answer: Dante calls Virgil his master and also suggest to Virgil that there is hope for him to get out of this eternal damnation. He does this by bringing out memories that Virgil has: "did any ever leave here, through his merit/ or with another's help, and go to bliss?”(Dante 99 line 49-50). By Dante bringing this memory back into Virgil's head, Virgil may believe he himself has a shot at being chosen to leave this damnation as others have. Dante openly accepts the invitation to join their ranks and does so by walking with them and having an in depth conversation with them. Also, when Dante is taken to the meadow he is in awe at the people he sees, almost taken back as if he admires these people.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 10, 2013 06:47 PM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 September 2013

Revision

Question: According to the scholar interviewed in the documentary, why is the expression “The Dark Ages” actually a misnomer?

Answer: Though this time period was referred to as “The Dark Ages” some saw as the start of a new beginning. Though these times were “dark” Thomas Martin from the College of the Holy Cross explains, “that wasn’t the case across the board, there is a lot more to this period than just the notion that people were living in gloom” (Martin). Though things were falling apart a new unity was beginning to form as people bound together under Christ, who was seen as the new leader. Some believe this time period marked the start of a new era, new growth, and new discoveries.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 10, 2013 07:11 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 August 2013

Question: "What, according to scholars emerging in the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, was so "dark" about the early Middle Ages?

Answer: According to these scholars, the Middle Ages were considered "dark" due to their abundance of death and their lack of innovation or achievement. Death was prominent as a result of the constant battles, invasions, and diseases. Raids were highly feared, as they could destroy a whole city in a matter of hours. The most known disease of this time period was the bubonic plague, which killed almost a third of Europe's population.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at September 10, 2013 09:06 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 August 2013

Answer: How does Dante explain his privileged role as one who, though "not Aeneas, [and] not Paul" (1.32) is now getting to imitate their journeys to the beyond (Aeneid VI; 2 Cor. 12: 2-4)? Why is this important? What is revealed about Dante-pilgrim's state of mind? What is the point of these nested layers of reported speech (Dante says Vergil says Beatrice says Lucia says Mary says...)?

Answer: Dante does not understand why he is chosen to undertake this special journey out of the dark wood. Dante writes, "But why am I to go? Who allows me to? I am not Aeneas, I am not Paul, neither I nor any man would think me worthy;" (80, lines 31-33). This is important because it portrays Dante's idea of himself in comparison to Aeneas and Paul. He lacks confidence and greatly fears his upcoming journey will not be successful. Dante-pilgrim's state of mind is weak and cowardly until Virgil tells him why he has come to guide him. Virgil explains how word of Dante's struggle was passed down through the Queen of Heaven, Saint Lucia, Beatrice, and finally, Virgil himself. Virgil then questions Dante as to why he would still be fearful of his journey when he has three blessed ladies watching out for him in Heaven's court.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at September 10, 2013 09:08 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
10 September 2013

Question: Look up "epicurean" in a good dictionary. What kind of sin is this?

Answer: Epicurean means having luxurious tastes and habits. It can also mean one who displays their wealth with luxurious and rich items. This is part of the seven deadly sins. There are two sins that this idea intertwines with. They are gluttony and greed. Gluttony because of the luxurious taste and excess of their habits and foods. Greed because they spend their wealth on themselves instead of helping others.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 10, 2013 09:09 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 August 2013

Question: Further challenges to Virgil's authority. How does he hold up?

Answer: Virgil has been facing meek challenges in each circle which he easily refutes using his powerful authority. However, in circle 6, Virgil's authority is denied by the fallen angels. They reject Virgil's command to them that they must open the gate to the city of Dis. Virgil becomes upset and worried after his failed attempt to convince the fallen angels. Dante writes, "(Virgil) walked back very slowly with eyes downcast, all self-assurance now erased from his forehead- sighing..." (142, lines 117-119). But, he didn't lose hope and reassured Dante that they would, in fact, get through the gates. Virgil restores faith in Dante by telling him he made this journey to the deepest depths once before, and hence knows the way well. Additionally, the Supreme Emperor rules all and has instructed Virgil and Dante to make this journey, which cannot be denied by anyone.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at September 10, 2013 09:09 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
10 September 2013

Question: Who is Brunetto Latini and what is his message to Dante?

Answer: Brunetto Latini is a famous Florentine intellectual and a former teacher of Dante. Dante is told to follow his constellation and he will in fact make it home. Dante is also informed of an enemy he may have. Brunetto Latini says, "But that ungrateful and malignant race/ which descended from the Fiesole of old/ [. . . ]/ will become, for your good deeds, your enemy" (Dante 207 line 61-4). Dante's old teacher also praises Dante for his work and tells him that there is no fit place for Dante to continue to grow. Also, Dante is told he has great honors awaiting him.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 10, 2013 09:26 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr.Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: How does Dante depict the Grafters in cantos 21-22? What kind of people are they? What kinds of names do the demons in charge of them have?Is their sin more immediate to modern readers than others discussed by Dante? How do the Grafters affect Dante?

Answer: Dante depicts the Grafters as animals, first a dolphin then a frog. Like a dolphin the Grafter's “backs would surface in order to alleviate his pain, then dive to hide” like dolphins do when they breathe (Canto XXII, pg 269, 22-4).Similarly like frogs the “sinners squatted all around their pond; but as soon as Barbariccia would approach they quickly ducked beneath the boiling pitch” as frogs do as preditors approach (Canto XXII, pg 269, 28-9). The grafters are people who took bribes to change decisions. The demons in charge of the Grafters names show that they have two sides. The demons represent the fear that they instill in Dante and in the Grafters but they are also very comedic like when they want to mess with Dante while escorting him through the circle. This sin is very immediate to modern readers. Lobbyist’s job is to bribe and convince legislatures to pass their law or to agree with them. Now a day’s bribery is a profession. The Grafters create fear in Dante, he doesn’t believe that they are going to keep their word and help him.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at September 11, 2013 10:11 AM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: Why does the lowest part of hell look like? Does the landscape surprise you? What did you expect? How is it an appropriate place for punishing sinners who are found here?

Answer:In the lowest part of hell it is frozen, all the sinners are frozen in a "lake of ice stretching... like a sheet of glass" ( 363, 23-4). This landscape surprises me because the stereotypical idea of hell is hot and fiery, not frozen. The saying, when hell freezes over, gives many people the sense that there is no ice in hell only heat. This landscape is appropriate place to punish the sinners because this level of hell is for the people who betrayed their families. These people are already cold, and cold hearted. They deserve to be eternally cold since they already are on the inside.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at September 11, 2013 10:17 AM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: Why does the lowest part of hell look like? Does the landscape surprise you? What did you expect? How is it an appropriate place for punishing sinners who are found here?

Answer:In the lowest part of hell it is frozen, all the sinners are frozen in a "lake of ice stretching... like a sheet of glass" ( 363, 23-4). This landscape surprises me because the stereotypical idea of hell is hot and fiery, not frozen. The saying, when hell freezes over, gives many people the sense that there is no ice in hell only heat. This landscape is appropriate place to punish the sinners because this level of hell is for the people who betrayed their families. These people are already cold, and cold hearted. They deserve to be eternally cold since they already are on the inside.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at September 11, 2013 10:23 AM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: How do you explain the weather in this circle?

Answer: The weather in this circle is “round of rain, eternal, cursed, cold and falling heavy” with “thick hail and dirty water mixed with snow” that is causing the earth to stink (121, 7-8, 10). This weather is exactly how the sinners in this circle affect the mortal world. This circle is full of people who can’t control themselves. They put their desired before their necessities; these are the people who became obese or alcoholic. They filled the mortal world with unhealthy habits that made them feel warm. Now they are punished with cold for all the warmth they felt through their gluttony.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at September 11, 2013 10:44 AM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: What is the political theme of Canto 6? How does it relate to Dante's own political experiences?

Answer: In Canto 6 Dante is now in the third circle of hell when one of the souls recognizes him. The souls name is Ciacco and he is from Florence, the city where Dante resides. Dante asks Ciacco what will happen to the citizens of Florence, and he tells him “after much contention they will come to bloodshed; the rustic party will drive the other out by brutal force” (123, Line 64-6). Little does Dante know the struggle Ciacco speaks of is what will eventually lead to his own exile from Florence. The story Ciacco tells is the story of Dante’s own political experience that have yet to happen, it is a prophecy.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 11, 2013 12:14 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02

Question: Look up “epicurean” in a good dictionary. What kind of sin is this?

Answer: An epicurean sin is one relating to the pursuit of sensual pleasure, especially to the delight of good food and comfort. Those that have luxurious tastes or habits are sent to Hell for this sin. Bruce writes, pertaining to the third Circle, “These sinners ate or drank way too much. They became obese or alcoholic” (Bruce, 21).

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at September 11, 2013 01:25 PM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: Ugolino is one of the last sinners examined in detail in the Inferno. What kind of Commentary on extreme evil is Dante making in his depiction of Ugolino? What does Dante's description of Ugolino contribute to the poem's political theme?

Answer: Ugolino tells Dante the story of why he is here in circle 9, and forever eating away at the live brain of Ruggieri his associate. This time instead of feeling pity for the soul and his punishment, like Dante had done in past circles, he feels no pity for Ugolino instead he pities the loss of his sons. He exclaims, “let every Pisan perish in its flood! For if Count Ugolino as accused of turning traitor, trading-in your castles, you had no right to make his children suffer” (373, Line 84-7). He curses Pisa for not coming to the aid of his sons and letting the innocent die young. Dante’s description of Ugolino shows a political leader in a battle for power instead of being focused on his job and his city. This contributes to the political theme we constantly see of leaders trying to gain more power which eventually leads to their downfall, and in this case a forever damnation of suffering in Hell.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 11, 2013 01:32 PM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 September 2013

Question: “Why does Dante get a guide, and why should it be Virgil? What are Virgil's credentials for the job? How does Dante get around the fact that his guide and mentor is a pagan, rather than (say) a Christian saint? How does Dante-pilgrim introduce himself to Virgil? Is this any way to talk to a ghost?And where/how do you suppose Virgil learned Italian?”

Answer: Dante needs a guide because he has sinned and therefore ended up in the dark wood of error. Virgil, his guide, will help him get to the light since he can't do it alone. He is Dante's guide because Dante has spent much time studying and learning from his poetry, and Beatrice has sent him to show Dante what he must do to stay out of hell. Virgil is someone Dante easily trusts and will follow, whereas he would probably not trust a Christian Saint that easily. Virgil is someone Dante admires and approves of, which is necessary for a trip through the dark wood of error. Furthermore, Virgil is very familiar with hell, and is a fit candidate to show Dante all the different levels of hell. When they first meet, Virgil gives Dante the disclaimer that he cannot take him the entire way because he wasn't a Christian, but Dante's faith in Virgil to guide him towards the light does not change. Once Dante knows that the figure he sees is Virgil, Dante introduces himself by showing his admiration for him. He is very respectful towards Virgil but at the same time continues to ask Virgil to lead him to the light. Virgil is an Italian and therefore knows Italian. Furthermore, "in the Middle Ages, Virgil was considered a prophet" and thus "Dante saw Virgil as a sort of mediator between Imperial and Apostolitic Rome" (75).

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at September 11, 2013 01:45 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: What sin is punished in the lowest level of Hell? Why do you think Dante’s considers this to be the worst sin? How are these sinners punished?

Answer: The sin punished in the lowest level of Hell is betrayal. Bruce explains, “The ninth Circle is divided into four rings. Each ring punishes one kind of traitor: traitors against kin/family, traitors against government, traitors against guests, and traitors against benefactors, including God” (Bruce, 130). I think Dante considers this to be the worst sin because these traitors knowingly disrespected others. They turned away from their morals and thought only of themselves. In that time period, treachery was much more serious and more punishable than it is now. Sinners in the first and second rings are punished by being frozen up to their necks in ice. Sinners in the third ring are completely buried under the ice. Sinners in the fourth ring are frozen up to their necks in the Cocytus lake so that they may cry eternally with their head hung.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at September 11, 2013 01:48 PM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 September 2013

Question: “What is Dante-pilgrim's danger in this canto? How does Virgil address this danger? What is the lesson encoded in this “veil of verses”?

Answer: In this Canto, Virgil and Dante cannot get past the gate and are waiting for help when the Furies and Medusa are guarding the tombs. Virgil tells Dante to cover his eyes because if he looks at Medusa, he will turn into stone. Virgil himself covered Dante's eyes as well because he "did not trust" Dante's hands, showing that he underestimates God and God's helpers (150). In the end, an angel comes to open the gate and Virgil and Date pass through without resistance.

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at September 11, 2013 01:53 PM

Dafne Jacobs
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
9 September 2013

Question: “According to the scholar interviewed in the documentary, what would have been ironic about medieval peasants sleeping in thatched-roof shacks build adjacent to the Aqueducts or Coliseums of antiquity?”

Answer: Roman Aqueducts or Coliseums of antiquity represented how advanced the Romans were and how much more they had learned and applied in order to make life easier. This, compared to the thatched-roof shacks, marks the great difference between the Roman culture, which was well rounded and far more advanced than the tribes that took over and barely existed while destroying all the knowledge and improvement that the Romans had accomplished.

Posted by: Dafne Jacobs at September 11, 2013 01:54 PM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: “Guido da Montefeltro is guilty of the same sin as Ulysses but how is he a different kind of person?”

Answer: Guido’s sin was different because it was the direct betrayal of a group of people, unlike Ulysses, whose actions were a part of war. Guido also knew that his council was evil but still gave advice to Boniface VII.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at September 11, 2013 03:04 PM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: “What does the lowest part of Hell look like? Does the landscape surprise you? What did you expect? How is it an appropriate place for punishing the sinners who are found here?”

Answer: The landscape is literally “Hell frozen over”, with many sinners encapsulated in ice for their crimes. The choice was not necessarily surprising, considering that the presence of God is warmth and love, but the absence of him is cold and dark. The sinners found here in the deepest circle are considered the most evil; betrayers of God, country, family, and friends all dwell there. It is an appropriate end because to betray someone is the ultimate evil; people with little to no connection to God still recognize its evil.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at September 11, 2013 03:14 PM

Jen Doyle
Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
11 September 2013

Question: The inferno (hell) we are told at the very opening of Canto III is a place constructed by Divine Justice, Omnipotence, and Love. What problems, if any, does this raise? Can you defend Dante’s poem from the charge that it makes God appear appallingly cruel? Discuss, explain and substantiate your response with examples from the text.

Answer: Dante describes hell as a place of Divine Justice, Omnipotence and Love. In Canto III when Dante arrives at the gates of hell they read, “Justice it was that moved my great creator; divine omnipotence created me, and the highest wisdom joined with primal love” (89, Line 4-6). This raises some issues because the way Dante portrays God is not the same way he is portrayed in the bible. Dante's God is a lot crueler than the God you see in scripture. People may question if this hell Dante speaks of is really a place of Divine Justice and Love when souls are going through such torturous suffering. On the contrary there are many arguments you can put forward to defend Dante’s poem such as the use of contrapasso and the idea that all sins have an equal and justified punishment. The whole idea of Dante’s portrayal off hell is that each soul is placed in the circle of hell most appropriate to the sins they have committed. As well as that the punishment is equal and fitting to the sins they are in hell for, as Virgil says “you could expect to see the suffering race of souls who lost the good of intellect” (90, Line 16-80). This just shows that these souls have lost their good judgment and are being punished for leaving the path of good and walking the path of darkness.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 11, 2013 10:52 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
12 September 2013

Question: How do you rate Virgil’s performance as a guide in this Canto? How does Dante-Pilgrim rate it? Dante-Poet? What distinctions/hierarchies begin to emerge among D-Pilgrim, D-Poet, and Virgil-Guide?

Answer: Virgil’s performance as a guide in Canto VIII (Chapter 8) was consistent and firm. Virgil saved Dante from peril several times in this Canto. One of the best displays of Virgil’s skill as a guardian occurred while Phlegyas, guardian of Circle 5, ferried Virgil and Dante across the Styx: a swampy body of water in Circle 5. While crossing the Styx, a muddy sinner rose up from the murky depths below and attempted to attack Dante; however, his attempts were thwarted by Virgil. “The Muddy Sinner reached toward the boat, but the ever vigilant Virgil, Dante’s guardian shoved the soul away from the boat, shouting, ‘Stay away! Stay with the other sinners!’ Virgil then hugged Dante and said, ‘you have acted rightly. Blessed are you and the womb that bore you.’” Here, Virgil shows his prowess as a guide by protecting Dante and then praising him; Virgil acted as more than a guide. Dante also rates Virgil highly; when confronted with the possibility of traveling the remainder of the journey without Virgil, Dante felt great fear and did not want to go on. “He cried to Virgil, ‘please don’t leave me. You have been my protector, and I need you. If we cannot go forward, let us retrace our steps together!’” (Bruce 29) This quote displays the high value Dante places on Virgil. Dante would rather forego his journey than continue on without Virgil. This quote also conveys a change in hierarchy among Dante and Virgil. Initially Virgil was just a means to an end for Dante, but then Virgil’s importance to Dante increased. Virgil emerges as Dante’s protector.

Public Domain Prose Translation by David Bruce. Smashwords, 2009

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at September 12, 2013 03:01 PM

Mallorie Shawe
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
14 September 2013
Question: How according to Montano, is Dante’s view/depiction of Ulysses (Odyseus), unorthodox? Who else gets unorthodox treatment in “The Inferno”?
Answer: In the beginning of Montano’s article he clearly states that, “Ulysses the hero cancels out Ulysses the sinner” (206). Though this has been said constantly Dante takes a different more unorthodox approach by putting Ulysses in hell. Ulysses seen as a “hero of knowledge” is portrayed by Dante as a “protagonist of vain, foolish adventure” (Montano 209). There by Dante dooms Ulysses to the eighth circle of hell for his misuse of knowledge, and leaving behind his duties as not only king but a father and husband. Ulysses isn’t the only person receiving unorthodox treatment in the inferno; Farinata is also doomed to hell by Dante. Montano quotes St. Albert the Great saying, “the political man is closest to God” (210). Yet Farinata who devoted his life to politics resides in the sixth circle hell, placed there by the author Dante. Dante portrays Farinata as a “fascist or communist” who only ever cared about politics and was completely “blinded” (Montano 210) to anything else in the outside world. Both of these persons received unorthodox treatment by Dante in “The Inferno”.

Posted by: Mallorie Shawe at September 14, 2013 07:30 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
14 September 2013

Question: What specific dogmas are placed under questioning and scrutiny in the Inferno? What
about the notion that hell is forever (notice the inscription on the gates of hell)? What
of the case of the so called "virtuous pagans" (good people who were unfortunate enough to live before the times of Christ or did not practice Christianity and hence, according to dogma, had to go to hell)? Can anyone get out of hell? Are there any characters in Dante's narrative which are said to have escaped from hell? What are the implications of such figures. Discuss, explain and substantiate your response with examples from the text.

Answer: There are a few dogmas that are challenged, such as you cannot leave hell, non sinners do not go to hell, and you are stuck where you are in hell. Also, another dogma challenged is that you are almost doomed if you enter heaven, "ABANDON EVERY HOPE, ALL YOU WHO ENTER" (Dante 89). This message seen on the gate of hell shows its almost impossible to leave. The "virtuous pagans" are not punished because they had no choice to follow Christ as they were before his time. If they suffer at all it is due to their own desire. Only certain people can get out of hell and they have to be saved by God. Some people who got out were Abel, Noah, Moses, and Abraham, along with a few others. Each person that was saved from hell has an important role in the Bible.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at September 15, 2013 06:36 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
15 September 2013

Question: The Inferno (Hell), we are told at the very opening of Canto III, is a place constructed by Divine Justice, Omnipotence, and Love. What problems if any, does this raise? Can you defend Dante’s poem from the charge that it makes God appallingly cruel? Discuss, explain and substantiate your response with examples from the text.


Answer: No problems arise from the fact that The Inferno is constructed by Divine Justice, Omnipotence, and Love. The Inferno is designed to be just and exact. As Virgil says in Chapter III of the David Bruce translation, “Anyone who is in The Inferno deserves to be here- the Supreme Emperor does not make mistakes.” This quote validates the components of The Inferno (Divine Justice, Omnipotence, etc.) The Supreme Emperor does not make mistakes; he will be just in his judgments of the sinners there. This also champions Dante’s poem against the charge that it makes God “appallingly cruel.” In Chapter 3 of the David Bruce translation, Dante approaches the Gates of Hell with Virgil, when he reads the script above the gate he finds them cruel; however, Virgil disputes this claims and provides support as to why it is not cruel but just. “Dante looked at the words above the gate, and then he said to Virgil, ‘These words are cruel.’ Virgil thought…these words are not cruel. Anyone who is in The Inferno deserves to be here- the Supreme Emperor does not make mistakes.” God is not cruel because the inhabitants of The Inferno are deserving sinners whose punishment is designed to fit the crime. For example, in chapter 3 of the David Bruce translation, uncommitted souls who never took a stand in life for good or evil reside in neither heaven nor hell. In chapter 5, the lustful sinners who could not control themselves in life are blown all around in hell by tempest winds; poetic justice, the sinners have no control of their bodies because they could not control their lustful bodies while in the land of the living. In conclusion, Dante’s poem does not make God cruel, but fair.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at September 15, 2013 09:35 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
12 September 2013

Question: How do you rate Virgil’s performance as a guide in this Canto? How does Dante-Pilgrim rate it? Dante-Poet? What distinctions/hierarchies begin to emerge among D-Pilgrim, D-Poet, and Virgil-Guide?

Answer: Virgil’s performance as a guide in Canto VIII (Chapter 8) was consistent and firm. Virgil saved Dante from peril several times in this Canto. One of the best displays of Virgil’s skill as a guardian occurred while Phlegyas, guardian of Circle 5, ferried Virgil and Dante across the Styx: a swampy body of water in Circle 5. While crossing the Styx, a muddy sinner rose up from the murky depths below and attempted to attack Dante; however, his attempts were thwarted by Virgil. “The Muddy Sinner reached toward the boat, but the ever vigilant Virgil, Dante’s guardian shoved the soul away from the boat, shouting, ‘Stay away! Stay with the other sinners!’ Virgil then hugged Dante and said, ‘you have acted rightly. Blessed are you and the womb that bore you.’” Here, Virgil shows his prowess as a guide by protecting Dante and then praising him; Virgil acted as more than a guide. Dante also rates Virgil highly; when confronted with the possibility of traveling the remainder of the journey without Virgil, Dante felt great fear and did not want to go on. “He cried to Virgil, ‘please don’t leave me. You have been my protector, and I need you. If we cannot go forward, let us retrace our steps together!’” (Bruce 29) This quote displays the high value Dante places on Virgil. Dante would rather forego his journey than continue on without Virgil. This quote also conveys a change in hierarchy among Dante and Virgil. Initially Virgil was just a means to an end for Dante, but then Virgil’s importance to Dante increased. Virgil emerges as Dante’s protector.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at September 15, 2013 09:36 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
15 September 2013

Question: Explain, in your own words, Montano's definition of Humanism. How does it differ from other scholar's definitions? Why is Montano's definition important to his claim?

Answer: Montano's definition of Humanism exemplifies natural worldly interests and ordinary passions. Dante's work attracts it's readers because of it's realistic expression of human behavior, rather than it's symbolic meaning. Montano explains, "No other work can give us such an exalting view of what man is, of his divinity. Here is humanism, that is, confidence in man's own capability to comply with the divine, at its highest point" (Montano, 213). Dante's humanism differs from other scholars' humanism in the fact that they place faith and grace above all other human values. Dante feels that merely the basic values are necessary for a man's journey to God. Montano's definition is important to his claim because he claims that Petrarch, the founder of humanism, felt no desire for Dante's work and only mentioned Dante once to say he was conquered by love. Dante's humanism was not popular in his time and was rarely accepted by other scholars. Montano offers that Petrarch was possibly jealous of Dante's work.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at September 15, 2013 10:30 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
15 September 2013


Question: What specific dogmas are placed under questioning and scrutiny in the inferno? What about the notion that hell is forever? (Notice the inscription on the gates of hell)? What of the case of the so-called “virtuous pagans” (good people who were unfortunate enough to live before the times of Christ or did not practice Christianity and hence according to dogma, had to go to hell)? Can anyone get out of hell? What are the implications of such figures?

Answer: Certain dogmas in Dante’s Inferno is the concept of limbo, in which “virtuous pagans” or people of good virtue who were not baptized, even those born before Christ must still reside in hell. Another dogma was the myth of Satan/Lucifer, mentioned in chapter 3 of David Bruce’s translation, who rebelled in heaven and was exiled to hell. Although several figures managed to escape hell’s grasp, not just anyone can escape hell. For the sinners who have already been damned it is too late. Dante was able to escape due to the fact that he was still living and had the option of getting out of the “Dark Wood of Error”, or the path to hell. It is referenced in chapter two of David Bruce’s translation that Saint Paul and Aeneas go through the Land of The Dead and leave. Later it is also referenced that Hercules came to hell and escaped with two others back to the land of the living. The implications of such figures are that sinners believe it is possible to escape hell. Also, the sinners are able to get information about what is happening in the present time of the world of the living, since they are visually impaired and can only see the future and past. However, the biggest implication is that it isn’t too late to turn it around and go to heaven.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at September 15, 2013 10:45 PM

Allison Sheftall
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
16 September 2013

Question: Montano refrences the approach to Dante that U.S. scholars often take. What is his criticism of this approach?

Answer: Many U.S. scholars take the approach of symbolic significance when analyzing Dante. Montano believes that “symbols and edifying purposes do not necessarily imply the presence of poetry and what matters in Dante’s poem” (Montano 206). Montano finds this way of analyzing as mundane. He states that these elements are the same that romantic readers have been using to identify Dante as a humanist. The lifelike reactions of the immortal characters are why Dante is considered a humanist in this case. Montano believes that the symbolism has nothing to do with Dante and Renaissance humanism. According to Montano, Dante’s version of humanism is whatever is noble and high in man and that is what God rewards.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at September 16, 2013 10:12 AM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
15 September 2013


Question: What are we (readers of Dante) usually told about how to interpret Dante and The Divine Comedy, i.e., what position/s is Montano reacting to (disagreeing with) in his article?

Answer: Readers of Dante “…especially in America,” are told to interpret Dante and The Divine Comedy by seeking out hidden meaning and depth in his symbolism. Montano disputes this clinical approach to Dante's The Divine Comedy. “…A large part of Dante’s criticism, especially in America has been devoted to the search for symbolical significations…but symbols and edifying purposes do not necessarily imply the presence of poetry and what matters in Dante’s poem is not his ‘intentional world…’ but what seems realistic and moving. Readers in fact have been attracted to Dante’s poem not because of its symbolical meanings but because of the ‘immortal figures’” (Montano 206). Montano believes that readers appreciate Dante for his memorable and relatable characters, not for the symbolism hungry critics’ intent on dissecting Dante’s work.

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at September 16, 2013 02:38 PM

Alexa Griffith-Hardy
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
11 March 2014

Question #2:
If the Light of grace is at the top of the hill, why must Dante go down in order to reach it? What other allegorical images are present in Dante’s landscape (e.g., what about the forest? The valley?)? What might the three wild animals symbolize?
Answer:
The three wild animals are the leopard, the lion, and the she-wolf; these animals represent fear for the unknown if he goes toward the creatures not knowing what may happen to him. Dante makes the choice to go back down into the “sunless woods” (Puchner 1053). The Light of grace is at the top of the hill but Dante must go through Hell in order to reach it to show he is worthy.
Work Cited
Puchner, Martin. Dante Inferno. Trans. Musa, Mark. W.W. Norton & Company, INC., 2001. Print.

Posted by: Alexa Griffith-Hardy at March 11, 2014 06:19 PM

Becca Orden
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG220 CL Journey in Narrative CA01
11 March 2014
QUESTION #3:
Why does Dante get a guide, and why should it be Virgil? What are Virgil’s credentials for the job? How does Dante get around the fact that his guide and mentor is a pagan rather than a Christian saint? How does date pilgrim introduce himself to Virgil? Is this any way to talk to a ghost? And where/how do you suppose Virgil learned Italian?
ANSWER:
Dante gets a guide because the three beasts “fill him with fear” (Puchner, 1053) and Virgil says he will lead him to someone more fit than himself to lead Dante to paradise. The reason Virgil is a good guide for Dante is because he becomes somewhat of a life coach and a father figure rather than just a guide. Dante realizes that by accepting Virgil as a pagan that he is just accepting him as human. I’m not sure how or where Virgil learned Italian.

Posted by: Becca Orden at March 11, 2014 07:53 PM

Taylor Schemehorn
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
11 March 2014
QUESTION #6:
Finally, we enter Hell proper, through the famously inscribed gate. How do you make sense of the claim that Hell was built by “Justice”, “Wisdom”, and “Love”?
ANSWER:
In Dante’s Inferno, he states, “Justice it was that moved my great creator; divine omnipotence created me, and highest wisdom joined with primal love” (Puncher, 1060). In this, he is stating that without Hell we would not be able to see God’s justice. If there were no Hell, then there would be no justice. God created such an evil place, for the Wisdom of Justice so people who are sinners can seek Justice through Hell and be saved.

Posted by: Taylor Schemehorn at March 11, 2014 09:52 PM

Michael Castronuovo
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
12 March 2014

QUESTION #3:
Why does Dante get a guide, and why should it be Virgil? What are Virgil’s credentials for the job? How does Dante get around the fact that his guide and mentor is a pagan, rather than a Christian saint? How does Dante-pilgrim introduce himself to Virgil? Is this any way to talk to a ghost? And where/how do you suppose Virgil learned Italian?

ANSWER:
Dante gets a guide because he is horrified by the three monsters that he comes to face when he travels the path on the mountain (Alighieri 1055). Virgil is the worthy, and pretty much only, candidate to guide Dante because while Dante is in this land of monsters and animals, Virgil appears to be the closest thing to a human who Dante can relate to. Virgil is also knowledgeable of the area that Dante is in, and knows paths that Dante would be able to take (Alighieri 1056).
Dante sees past that Virgil is a pagan because he sees Virgil’s compassion after hearing how he helped the woman’s friend as her guide (Alighieri 1060).
When Dante introduces himself to Virgil, he is at first still terrified from the She-Wolf (Alighieri 1055), and then once he realizes who he is talking to, he seems to begin worshipping him and begging him to show him the way. I am not sure that this is an appropriate way to talk to a ghost, as Dante talks to him as if he is a god. Virgil most likely learned Italian by living in Rome (Alighieri 1055).

Posted by: Michael Castronuovo at March 12, 2014 12:38 AM

Jesse Robinson
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
12 March 2014

QUESTION #9:
How does Dante (-pilgrim, -poet) negotiate the tension between the debt he owes to Vergil (and his fervent admiration for Virgil et al.) with the fact that they are eternally damned (there is no Court of Appeals here)? How does (how can) he respond to their invitation “to join their ranks”?

ANSWER:
In lines 46-48, Dante asks Virgil for clarity so he could “be certain/ of that belief which vanquishes all errors”. Dante wishes to know “did any ever go—by his own merit/ or others’—from this place toward blessedness?” Dante wants to know if there is any hope of him leaving Hell for Heaven. Immediately after Virgil explains how the first and last humans brought out of Hell were Adam and his descendants (lines 52-63), the poem continues with them going deeper into the woods/Hell. This may be the answer to Dante’s question—that, no, there is no hope of leaving Hell (except perhaps by being a descendant of Adam, or perhaps i.e. being Christian). Dante gladly joins the other great artists/philosophers (line 102), which also may indicate Dante’s inability to leave Hell.

Posted by: Jesse Robinson at March 12, 2014 09:20 AM

Chantal Bouthillier
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL On The Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
12 March 2014

QUESTION #6:
Finally, we enter Hell proper, through the famously inscribed gate. How do you make sense of the claim that Hell was built by “Justice,” “Wisdom,” and “Love”?

ANSWER:
Usually as readers read Dante’s Inferno, people and I tend to get confused with the idea that hell could ever be beautiful and was built by “Justice,” “Wisdom,” and “Love.” However, Dante plays the role of a judge and his main purpose is to highlight God’s justice, wisdom, and love. His main purpose of the text is to glorify god by focusing on him and spiritually leading us. He does this by showing God’s traits of mercy and love by contrasting it with justice and power in Inferno. “When they are swept back past to their place of judgment, then come the shrieks, laments, and anguished cries; there they blaspheme God’s almighty power.” (Puchner, 1068).In Inferno, we must ignore and change how we see the hero, quest, and the afterlife and view them as Dante’s Christian ideas. Hell is considered beautiful in Dante’s words because his hell was built upon God. Although hell is portrayed as horrifying, Dante changes the images of hell for the reader by showing the beauty of truth and justice. He shows beauty within suffering by god acts with the justice that he has promised.

Posted by: Chantal Bouthillier at March 12, 2014 11:23 AM

Thomas Meseroll
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220cl Journeys in Narrative CA02
10 March 2014

QUESTION #7:
What do you make of the Neutrals? Why is their fate important?

ANSWER:

As Canto III begins, Dante and Virgil enter into a chamber, of sorts, that leads directly to Hell itself. Hell's waiting room if you will. This is where Dante encounters the first group of souls that are "rejected by God and not accepted by the powers of Hell." (Canto III, pg 7). This group of souls is comprised of those that refused to make a choice in life and of those angels that refused to choose a side during the war between God and Satan. They are "those sad souls who lived a life but lived it with no blame and with no praise. They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels neither faithful nor unfaithful to their God, who undecided stood but for themselves." (Canto III, ln 35). Their punishment is to be that of an eternity of torment, to chase after an aimless banner "as though it would not ever take a stand" (Canto III, ln 54), all the while to be stung by a swarm of wasps and hornets, as the pus and blood oozed from their wounds down to their feet, which is then eaten by worms. There is a painful irony in that image alone. As they were unwilling to make a choice, unwilling to shed blood, sweat or tears in life, they are forced to bleed and shed tears in the afterlife, all the while chasing an unattainable and aimless goal.

These souls are considered so wretched, because of their cowardice and/or lack of conviction, that not only are they rejected by Heaven, but they are not even wanted in Hell. Their fate is so lamentable that they are to spend eternity being envious, even of those souls that are imprisoned to the most vial levels of Hell. Virgil confirms this by telling Dante that "I will tell you in a few words: these wretches have no hope of truly dying, and this blind life they lead is so abject it makes them envy every other fate." (Canto III, ln 45).

Virgil's revelation about these souls is particularly woeful and also terrifying to me. If you pay close attention to his statement, he says these souls have no hope of "truly dying". What does that mean? The answer may come in Canto VI, when Dante enters Circle III and meets Ciacco. After Ciacco finishes speaking and goes back to his catatonic like state, Virgil tells Dante "He'll wake no more until the day the angel's trumpet blows, when the unfriendly Judge shall come down here; each soul shall find again his wretched tomb, assume his flesh and take his human shape" (Canto VI, ln 95). He further explains that "the closer a thing comes to perfection, more keen will be its pleasure of its pain. Although this cursed race of punished souls shall never know the joy of true perfection, more perfect will their pain be then than now." (Canto VI, ln 107). My understanding of this statement is that during the Last Judgement, all of the souls in hell will be reunited with their human bodies, and when the soul unites with the flesh, it will be that much closer to perfection, and in the case of the damned, this perfection will ultimately cause them greater pain and suffering. So, when Virgil explains that the neutrals have no hope of "truly dying", does this suggest that perhaps they are still in some way united with their flesh? If so, wouldn't that make their pain and suffering greater than those that have already passed to the gates of hell?

Posted by: Thomas Meseroll at March 12, 2014 11:57 AM

Kelsey Stevens
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 Journeys in Narrative CA02
12 March 2014


Question 7: What do you make of the Neutrals? Why is their fate important?

Answer: The Neutrals are angels who did not choose a side when Satan rebelled against God. If they had sided with God, they would be in Heaven. Also, because they did not side with Satan, they are not actually living in Hell. They are damned to live among all the people who didn't do good nor evil in their lifetime. The fate of these angels is important because it shows they because they were not good or evil, they are still suffering.

Posted by: Kelsey Stevens at March 12, 2014 12:06 PM

Jacklyn O'Brien
Dr.B.Lee Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
12 March 2014

QUESTION #6:
Finally, we enter Hell proper, through the famously inscribed gate. How do
you make sense of the claim that Hell was built by “Justice,” “Wisdom,” and “Love”?

ANSWER:
Hell although is used a place to forever punish sins, was built by justice, wisdom and love due to the standards you must meet to be sent here. Hell is only used for those who committed sins and now are paying the price. The souls who committed acts of kindness will be rewarded with heaven, and the people who did not commit sins or acts of goodness will forever just be trapped in neither heaven or hell.

Posted by: Jacklyn O'Brien at March 12, 2014 12:08 PM

Daniella Zacarias
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
Journeys of Transformation In Narrative Literature 220CL
11.3.2014
Question #1
1.
As an epic journey to Hell and back, the Inferno clearly traces its ancestry, in part to the Aeneid. As an “autobiographical” record of a spiritual struggle, it has equally obvious roots in Augustine’s Confessions. We come to this book, then, uniquely well versed in its literary antecedents.
Where do you see the influence of the Aeneid in Dante’s poem? Of the Confessions? Alternatively, you may discuss what seems different about this epic than ones such as Homer’s Illiad and The Odyssey, or Beowulf.
ANSWER.
Inferno in contrast to Beowulf is based on Christian beliefs (Beowulf is part of an era in which Pagan belief was intertwined with Christian influences). Also, in Inferno, Dante the Pilgrim (the main protagonist) shows fear and reluctance to go on a journey through Hell with the guidance of Virgil (while Beowulf is the traditional hero who accepts any challenge), who wrote about “Aeneas who visited the underworld in Aeneid.” (Puchner 1057n5).

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at March 12, 2014 12:09 PM

Paola Vasquez
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
12 March 2014

QUESTION #8: The natural home of Virgil and his pagan colleagues. How are they punished? Why is this fitting?

One of the characters participates symbolically in all the sins that are being punished in hell. Penalties could include confiscation of property and even capital punishment. For example, before the Inferno, those who live without disgrace and praise are stuck crying in depression because they have never felt the presence of God. In circle one, where Virgil and Homer were the chief sinners; those who were worthy but not baptized, lived in a fog away from god’s grace. Fitting because the fog would blind the inhabitants like the absence of God, giving them no hope, and never longing for God. “And so, I think it best you follow me for your own good, and I shall be your guide and lead you out through an eternal place where you will hear desperate cries, and see tormented shades, some old as Hell itself, and know what second death is, from their screams“(Alighieri, 1056 lines 112-117).

Posted by: Paola Vasquez at March 12, 2014 12:15 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
12 March 2014

Question 5:
The Virgin Mary, St. Lucia, and Dante’s beloved Beatrice form a shadow Trinity of sorts (just as the 3 beasts on the hill form a Trinitarian “Axis of Evil”). We shall shortly be meeting their fallen sisters in the Inferno. If you know, how do Dante’s categories of women compare to those of Virgil? Of Augustine? If you took HON 151 The Christian Tradition, what can you say to this?

Answer:
In Dante’s “Inferno,” he mentions a holy trio of women made up of Beatrice, St. Lucia, and the Virgin Mary. When Dante sees Beatrice for the first time in Hell, he prays and refers to Mary, St. Lucia, and Beatrice as “Lady of Grace,” “enemy of the cruel,” and “God’s true praise” respectively (Puchner 1059). For him, these women are Godsends and honorable. He calls them “gracious and blessed,” and “kindness” as in they are not just kind but the embodiment of being kind (Puchner 1060).
In contrast, Augustine views women to be sinful and desiring of worldly successes rather than personal successes. He sees them as a multitude of positive and negative attributes, though more negative than positive. Virgil, also, portrays women poorly by saying they are irrational and overly emotional. What I get from this is that Dante respected women more than Virgil or Augustine. Also, I think that the roles and connotations of women was improving during he time that Dante was writing the “Inferno.”

Posted by: Craig Graves at March 12, 2014 12:38 PM

Antonio De Niz
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
12th March 2014

Question 4:
Canto II: How does Dante explain his privileged role as one who, though “not Aeneas, [and] not Paul” (l.32) is now getting to imitate their journeys to the beyond (Aeneid VI; 2 Cor. 12:2-4)? Why is this important? What is revealed about Dante-pilgrim’s state of mind? What is the point of these nested layers of reported speech (Dante says Virgil says Beatrice says Lucia says Mary says...)?

Answer:
Dante explain that his privileged role as one who, though not Aeneas, and not Paul is now getting to imitate their journeys to go beyond life and into hell. This is important because Dante can now know what hell is like and so he can become a new man. Dante does not know what to think he just became king, and he wants to rule the land. The point of these nested layers of reported speech is that Dante is saying one thing; Vergil is saying something else, and so on. They cannot make up their mind and are confused.

Posted by: Antonio De Niz at March 12, 2014 12:57 PM

Henry Adu
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
11 March 2014

Question 7
What do you make of the Neutrals? Why is their fate important?

Answer
Neutrals are those who are sided by neither God nor Satan in the war of heaven. “I once understood, and I was sure this was that sect of evil souls who were hateful to god and to his enemies.” (Puchner 63). They are not in hell but are at its entrance and are still suffering. Neutrals do not make moral choices in life; they do not do good or evil things. They are tormented by flies, hornets, and angels who also failed to make a choice in the battle of heaven and hell. They pay for their lack of indecision and Dante perceives them as cowardly so they will live forever in the Ante-Inferno in torment. Their fate is important because Dante helps explain the power of inaction. The lack of action can be just as painful and agonizing as making the wrong decision.

Posted by: Henry Adu at March 12, 2014 01:11 PM

Marssiel Mena
Dr.B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 Jouneys in Narrative CA02
12 March 2014
Question:#9
How does Dante negotiate the tension between the debt he owes to Vergil with the fact that they are eternally damned? How does he respond to their invitation "to join their ranks"?
Answer:
Dante tells Vergil, "Poet, I beg of you, in the name of God [...], save me from this evil place and worse" (Puncher 1057). Dante asks Virgil to help guide him till he cant no longer which, is when Bretrice will then guide him on.

Posted by: marssiel.mena at March 12, 2014 01:22 PM

Brittany Davis
B. Lee Hobbs
The proverbial road: journeys of transformation in narrative ENG 220CL
12 March 2014
“Inferno” From the Divine Comedy Question 8
8. Canto IV: This is the natural home of Virgil and his pagan colleagues. How are they punished? Why is this fitting?
Answer.
Virgil and his pagan colleagues are left in Limbo; they are not really punished because they were not really sinners. Instead, they keep human wisdom, but are not allowed the entrance to Heaven because they practiced other religions (none of which are Christian.). “The souls here, including Virgil, suffer no physical torment, but they must live, in desire, without hope of seeing God.” (Puchner1063).

Posted by: Brittany Davis at March 12, 2014 01:26 PM

Diana Berthil
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
11 March 2014

QUESTION:
# 3. Why does Dante get a guide a, and why should it be Virgil? What are Virgil’s credentials for the job? How does Dante get around the fact that his guide and mentor is a pagan, rather than (say) a Christian saint? How does Dante-pilgrim introduce himself to Virgil? Is this any way to talk to a ghost? And where/how do you suppose Virgil learned Italian?

ANSWER:
Dante gets a guide because he is frightened and loses hope as he encounters a lion and a she-wolf, “but then good hope gave way and fear returned when the figure of a lion loomed up before me, and he was coming straight toward me. . . and now a she-wolf came, that in her leanness seemed racked with every kind of greediness (how many people she has brought to grief!). This last beast brought my spirit down so low with fear that seized me at the sight of her, I lost all hope of going up the hill” (Puchner 1054-1055). His guide should be Virgil because Virgil is dead and can guide him through hell, “I cried to him, “whichever you are, shade or living man!”, “No longer living man, though once I was,” he said” (Puchner 1055). Virgil’s credentials for the job are stated by himself, “and my parents were from Lombardy, both of them were Mantuans by birth. . . I was a poet and sang of that just man, son of Anchises” (Puchner 1055). Dante gets around the fact that his guide is a pagan rather than a Christian saint, by stating that it is acceptable because Virgil never knew God; “in the name of Good, that God you never knew” (Puchner 1057). Dante introduces himself lowly to Virgil and this is a way to talk to a ghost for he shows Virgil respect.

Posted by: Diana Berthil at March 12, 2014 01:31 PM

Jasmine Cedeno
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA02 Journeys to Narrative
12 March 14

Question #4: Canto II: How does Dante explain his privileged role as one who, though “not Aeneas, [and] not Paul” (l.32) is now getting to imitate their journeys to the beyond (Aeneid VI; 2 Cor. 12:2-4)? Why is this important? What is revealed about Dante-pilgrim’s state of mind? What is the point of these nested layers of reported speech (Dante says Virgil says Beatrice says Lucia says Mary says...)?

Answer:
During Canto II, Dante is experiencing a journey in which he is being assisted through realms of the underworld. He is being assisted by the spirit of Beatrice, he first childhood love and Virgil, a friend of Beatrice in hell. He considers himself privileged because he began the journey afraid to persevere. He states that he has learned the mind of the ancient Romans. He says he learned the “graceful style” of Virgil. He is able to find unity with God through the journey in the same way as Aeneas and Paul who journeyed before him on the same path through hell. “I am not Aeneas, I am not Paul, neither I nor any man would think me worthy; and so, if I should undertake the journey, I fear it might turn out an act of folly- you are wise, you see more than my words express (Musa 1058.”
Dante learns to conquer his fear and follow Virgil towards freedom from the dark. The song is written to decipher between his status in society and the status of others. He wishes to create a story in which all men are equal in society. He gains a famous status for following Virgil through the realms. He uses his fame to influence the Italian language on others so that everyone may be able to understand Italian. He also wishes to get through the realms while spiritually seeking a closer need for God. “As little flowers from the frosty night are closed and limp, and when the sunshine’s down on them, they rise to open on their stem, my wilted strength began to bloom within me, and such warm courage flowed into my heart that spoke like a man set free of fear (Musa 1060).”

Posted by: Jasmine Cedeno at March 12, 2014 01:38 PM

John-Wesley Ingraham
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative
11 March 2014

Question:
The Virgin Mary, St. Lucia, and Dante's beloved Beatrice form a shadow Trinity of sorts (just as the 3 beasts on the hill form a Trinitarian "Axis of Evil"). We shall shortly be meeting their fallen sisters in the Inferno. How do Dante's categories of women compare with those of Vergil? Of Augustine?

Answer:
In Dante Alighieri’s poem “Inferno”, Dante is confronted by a sprit by the name of Virgil, who is sent to aid Dante in his journey. Virgil is instructed by Beatrice, Dante’s lover who has died and is also a spirit, “his idealized love since childhood, who died in 1290” (Puchner 1051). Beatrice however is the beneficiary of a line of information that originated from the Virgin Mary, then was passed to St. Lucia, who then relayed to message to Beatrice. The three women form a sort of Trinity that is set on guiding Dante through his journey. Virgil receives instructions from Beatrice that he must go and aid Dante, “Now go, and with your elegance of speech…give him your help, and thereby bring me solace” (Puchner 1058). Vergil relationship with the women is merely that just of a tool in which they use to aid Dante, his given orders by the women and must carry them out. However Dante, once enlightened of his guardians, admires them and praises them for the assistance saying, “O she, compassionate, who moved to help me” (Puchner 1060).

Posted by: John-Wesley Ingraham at March 12, 2014 01:39 PM

Jose Parra
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys of Transformation in Narrative
March 12, 2014

Question #2:
If the Light of grace is at the top of the hill, why must Dante go down in order to reach it? What other allegorical images are present in Dante's landscape (e.g., what about the forest? the valley?)? What might the three wild animals symbolize?
Answer:
Dante sees the light on top of the hill and tries to reach it by climbing up but his path is blocked by three beasts, a lion, a leopard and a she-wolf. He is frightened and forced back down "And, everywhere I looked, the beast was blocking my way, so time and time again I was about to turn and go back down" (p. 1054). Then he sees the spirit of the great roman poet Virgil, who tells him that he will guide him through and that they must go through a different path to get up the hill and that in their path they must pass through Hell "And so, I think it best you follow me for your own good, and I shall be your guide and lead you out through an eternal place where you will hear desperate cries, and see tormented shades, some as old as Hell itself, and know what second death is, from their screams. And later you will see those who rejoice while they are burning, for they have hope of coming, whenever it may be, to join the blessed" (p. 1056). The main allegorical image is the dark woods Dante speaks of "I woke to find myself in a dark wood" (p. 1053). The dark wood is basically the surface of Dante’s hell. The three beast symbolize the three sections of the nine circles of hell (Incontinent, violent and fraudulent).

Posted by: Jose Parra at March 12, 2014 02:00 PM

Dexomia Livia
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL-Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
12 March 2014

QUESTION #1
1. Canto I: As an epic journey to Hell and back, the Inferno clearly traces its ancestry, in
part, to the Aeneid. As an “autobiographical” record of a spiritual struggle, it has
equally obvious roots in Augustine’s Confessions. We come to this book, then, uniquely
well-versed in its literary antecedents. Where do you see the influence of the Aeneid in
Dante’s poem? Of the Confessions? Alternatively, you may discuss what seems different
about this epic than ones such as Homer’s Illiad and The Odyssey, or Beowulf.

ANSWER:
Dante is scared that he might not survive the path through Hell and the Purgatory. In the poem, Dante sees Virgil and begs him for help. Dante says, “Have pity of my soul” (Pukner 1055). After that Virgil starts telling him his story when he was a "living man," that he sailed from troy after the death of Ilium-who happens to be Aenea “the hero of Virgil’s Aeneid” (Pukner 1055). Virgil promises Dante to “guide him on the path through Hell and the Purgatory, after which another spirit, more fit than Virgil, will lead him to Paradise” (Pukner 1053).

Posted by: Dexomia Livia at March 12, 2014 03:01 PM

Allie Clemons
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA01
12 March 2014

Question 2:
If the Light of grace is at the top of the hill, why must Dante go down in order to reach it? What other allegorical images are present in Dante’s landscape (e.g., what about the forest? The valley?)? What might the three wild animals symbolize?

Answer:
Dante has to be purified of his sins first and learn not to feel pity for sinners already in hell. The main message we are supposed to get from this is that man cannot redeem himself, but take responsibilities for the sins he has committed. In the biblical sense there is the valley of the shadow of the death and also the forbidden forest and this is what came to mind when reading. To me, the three wild animals symbolize the three categories of sin, “the leopard, the lion, and the she-wolf.”

Posted by: Allie Clemons at March 12, 2014 03:23 PM

Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL-Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
12 March 2014

QUESTION #51
Canto IX: In Canto IX, Dante and Virgil approach the city of Dis at the center of hell. They encounter the Three Furies or Erinyes here. What are these three beings? (Consult a mythological dictionary, encyclopedia, or look online for this information.)

ANSWER:
The three Erinyes represented the spirit of vengeance. These hellish Erinyes were, Megaera, Alecto, and Tisiphone, “their bodies and their gestures those of female [. . .] their waste were bound in cord or wild green hydras” (Pukner 1081). Lastly, Virgil calls Medusa to help them defeat these creatures.

Posted by: Dexomia Livia at March 12, 2014 03:58 PM

Charles Fowler
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys into Narratives
12 March 2014

Question: Canto IX: In lines 110-120 of Canto IX, we hear what structures make up the city of Hell. What structures are visible everywhere with flame scattered between them?

Answer: We heard what structure that made up the city of hell where it is pictured as nine circles of suffering located within the earth. In Canto IX, the structures that are visible everywhere with flame scattered between them are tombs. Dante passed through the gate of Dis and enter the sixth circle of hell to view these tombs and there is where Heretics laid.

Posted by: Charles Fowler at March 12, 2014 04:39 PM

Mariana Convery
ENG 220CL CA01
Dr. Hobbs
13 March 2014

Question 3 Dante

Question:
Why does Dante get a guide, and why should it be Virgil? What are Virgil’s credentials for the job? How does Dante get around the fact that his guide and mentor is a pagan, rather than (say) a Christian saint? How does Dante-pilgrim introduce himself to Virgil? Is this any way to talk to a ghost? And where/how do you suppose Virgil learned Italian?

Answer:
Dante gets a guide because Beatrice, whom he loved, had pity on him and requested the Holy Mother Mary to help her help Dante. So Beatrice asked Virgil, the ancient Roman poet of the Aeneid to guide him through hell. Dante chooses Virgil as his guide in the story because the book states, “The Roman poet is more than the literal guide of the wanderer within the fiction of the poem, for his Aeneid…is the constant poetic underpinning of Dante’s own epic enterprise” (Puchner 1050). Virgil is a mentor for the work that he is doing with The Divine Comedy it is an allegorical statement that he is his guide in the story.

Dante gets around the fact that Virgil is a pagan by having him only lead him through hell, where when the transition is made, Beatrice becomes his guide. Dante introduces himself to Virgil as someone who has overflowing admiration for him where he says, “O light and honor of the other poets/may my long years of study, and that deep love/ that made me search your verses, help me now!” (Line 84). And so Virgil is the mentor for Dante in writing The Divine Comedy and is asking his spirit to lead him based on what he has learned from him, and that’s why he asks him to help him from the she-wolf. So, to reiterate in answer to the question, he becomes the allegorical guide in the story as well.

As far as Virgil learning Italian, since he’s dead, he can probably get the aid of heaven to help him understand any language.

Posted by: Mariana Convery at March 13, 2014 04:01 PM

Mariana Convery
ENG 220CL CA01
Dr. Hobbs
13 March 2014
Question 67 Dante

Question:
Cantos XII: Another new wrinkle: the Centaurs are demons who participate in the punishment of the sinners, who are immersed in a river of boiling blood, a pretty obvious contrapasso. What’s the significance of this progression?

Answer:
The significance of this progression is that people who were violent tyrants must boil in the blood of those they violently tortured and killed. This is contrapasso because the crime suits the punishment, as they took blood in violence from others, they now are being boiled in that same blood. The Centaurs are the demons who make sure they don’t escape, and he used this from the Greek mythology of Hercules because one of the Centaurs, Nessus, the footnote tells us, “fell in love with Deianira, wife of Hercules, who killed him; while dying, Nessus poisoned with his own blood a robe that killed Hercules when he put it on” (Puchner 1092). So, in essence, he’s saying those who lived by taking the blood of others shall die and be tortured by that same blood, as in the case of Nessus.

Posted by: Mariana Convery at March 13, 2014 04:20 PM

Andrew Sherlock
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL - On the Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA01
13 March 2014

Question #8:
The natural home of Virgil and his colleagues. How are they punished? Why is this fitting?

Answer:
Their punishment is to infinitely follow a blank banner at a furious pace (Alighieri 1061). This is suiting because these people who “lost the good of intellect” and live life with “no blame ans no praise” (Alighieri 1061).

Works Cited
Alighieri, Dante. "Inferno." Puchner, Martin. The Norton Anthology World Liturature Vol. 1. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2013. 1053-1172.


Posted by: Andrew Sherlock at March 13, 2014 04:49 PM

Andrew Sherlock
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL - On the Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA01
13 March 2014

Question #55:
Canto IX: How does the Angelic messenger react to the air in Hell as he breaths?

Answer:
From time to time he would waft the air way from his face with his left hand but that seemed to be the only thing that phased him (Alighieri 1082).

Works Cited
Alighieri, Dante. "Inferno." Puchner, Martin. The Norton Anthology World Liturature Vol. 1. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2013. 1053-1172.


Posted by: Andrew Sherlock at March 13, 2014 05:12 PM

Chantal Bouthillier
Dr.B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL - ON THE PROVERBIAL ROAD: JOURNEYS OF TRANSFORMATION IN NARRATIVE CA02
13 March 2014

QUESTION# 64:
Cantos XII: Notice the vivid description which emphasizes the blasted, vertical nature of the landscape. Why is this significant?

ANSWER:
The vivid description that emphasizes the blasted, vertical nature of the landscape is significant because it represents death through nature. “At the base of the precipice, they see a river of boiling blood, which contains those who have inflicted violence upon others.” (Puchner, 1090).

Posted by: Chantal Bouthillier at March 13, 2014 07:59 PM

Becca Orden
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG220CL Journey in Narrative CA01
13 March 2014

QUESTION #53:
Canto IX: why does Virgil turn Dante away and cover his eyes as the Medusa approaches? Why is he so afraid of her?
ANSWER:
I think that Virgil turns Dante away because as his guide he knows what Medusa is capable of doing and he doesn’t want that to happen to Dante. I think he Is afraid of her because, well let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be afraid of someone who could turn you to stone just by looking her in the eyes (Puchner).

Posted by: Becca Orden at March 13, 2014 08:14 PM

Michael Castronuovo
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
13 March 2014

QUESTION #49:
Further challenges to Virgil’s authority. How does he hold up?

ANSWER:
When the help that was promised Virgil and Dante does not arrive, Dante obviously notices that Virgil is worried, which causes Dante to worry (Alighieri 1080). However, Virgil attempts to put on a brave face and act like he knows what he is doing (Alighieri 1080), which is probably just for Dante’s sake to keep him from fearing for their safety. All in all, Virgil is obviously just as scared as Dante, but tries to act brave so Dante does not feel hopeless.

Posted by: Michael Castronuovo at March 13, 2014 08:37 PM

Daniella Zacarias
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
Journeys of Transformation In Narrative Literature 220CL
13.3.2014
Question #65
65.
Cantos XII: Notice the familiar structure: the Minotaur threatens/Virgil protects. A new wrinkle to Danté’s relationship with Virgil emerges more evidently: Virgil appears almost omniscient in his ability to read Danté’s thoughts.
What is the significance of this ability, do you think? It crescendos in Canto XVII, when Danté is paralyzed by fear of Geryon, chocking on his words, dumbed by fear, yet Virgil knows what he wants to say and responds protectively.
ANSWER.
In Inferno, “How cautious a man must be in company with one who can not only see his actions but read his mind and understand his thoughts” writes Danté when he realizes that Virgil can read his thoughts. (Puchner 1107). The significance in Virgil’s ability is that it establishes that he is the ultimate mentor, because he not only teaches Danté what Hell is like (the significance of each circle, what each soul has done in its human life, etc.), but he can also protects Danté from his fears, and can apparently listen to his thoughts.

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at March 13, 2014 10:36 PM

Daniel Menezes
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
14 February 2014


Question #54:
Canto IX: Who opens the gates to Dis so that Virgil and Dante can enter? What tool does he use to push open the doors?

Answer:
The messenger of heaven opens the gates to Dis so Virgil and Dante can enter. Literally "sent from heaven was he" (60 Alighieri), however the precise identification of the specific powerful being is never revealed. The tool he uses is a wand.

Posted by: Daniel Menezes at March 14, 2014 01:15 AM

Re-Chia Jackson
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 The Proverbial Road: Journeys of transformation in narrative
13 March 2014

Inferno
Question #52
52. What physical actions do the three furies takes as they confront the two pilgrims Virgil and Dante? What do those gestures and action suggest and about their state of mind?
Answer:
52. The physical actions three furies took against Virgil and Dante is that ‘they would appear before Virgil, on top of a tower, shrieking and tearing their beasts with their nails. The called for medusa who was horrible face had power to change anyone face who looked at her into stone.”(Puncher, 1080) Virgil turns his head and hides his eye from medusa. They was angry and wanted to seek revenge on Virgil and Dante by calling this beast Medusa that would turn them into stone.

Posted by: re-chia.jackson at March 14, 2014 02:59 AM

Re-Chia Jackson
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 The Proverbial Road: Journeys of transformation in narrative
13 March 2014

Inferno
Question #9
9. How does Dante negotiate the tension between the debt he owes to Vergil with the fact that they are eternally damned? How does he respond to their invitation “to join their ranks”?
Answer:
9. Dante begins to explain in canto II that he cannot complete the journey with Vergil. He feels unworthy of the task because of his fears that stands in the way of him. Instead of Vergil just accepting this cowardliness from Dante he rebukes him and explains the chain of event that lead him to Dante to help him overcome his problem and guide him into light. From the help of “the Virgin Mary who had much sympathy for Dante in his current situation with the three beast. So she went Beatrice and Beatrice went to hell and ask for Virgil to help her friend.” (Puncher, 1057) Dante starts to feel understanding and grateful for Virgil help and decides to continue with the journey.

Posted by: re-chia jackson at March 14, 2014 03:21 AM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 220CL Joureys in Narrative CA01
14 March 2014

Question 59:
Cantos X-XI, X, & XIII: Note that the sins encountered at the top of the slope are less grave than the ones at the bottom, and the ones in between are arranged in a corresponding hierarchy in which more grave sins are punished beneath less grave sins. Why do you think Dante makes lust a lesser sin than gluttony? Or, to put it bluntly: Why, for Dante, is having sex with your neighbor’s wife or husband a lesser sin than eating an entire pizza and a twelve-pack of beer every week while you watch Monday Night Football?

Answer:
I think Dante finds the sin of lust to be a lesser sin than gluttony because lust is often described as ‘unwilling’ in pop culture. This idea of an ‘unwilling’ sinner can be found in Canto IV were the lustful people are punished. Virgil tells Dante that “[Cleopatra’s] vicious tastes had corrupted her” (Puchner 1068). Lust is also a sin of longing as one will never fully be with the one he or she loves as once he or she has that one person, he or she will lust for another. Gluttony, on the other hand, is insatiable and is the first ‘willing’ sin as one must procure one’s own craving and no one else is forcing such a craving upon the sinner. Ciacco admits that gluttony is a sin of self-awareness and action when he tells Dante that gluttons come to Hell “after much contention” (Puchner 1072). Gluttony is worse than lust here because a glutton can only blame his or herself for the present state while people who lust had another upon whom blame can be cast.

Posted by: Craig Graves at March 14, 2014 08:39 AM

Lydia Beach
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
11 March 2014

QUESTION #55:
Canto IX: How does the Angelic messenger react to the air in Hell as he breathes?
ANSWER:
The messenger does not like the air he is breathing. He waves his arm in front of his face trying to get the air away. He seems to be suspicious of the air in a way.

Posted by: Lydia Beach at March 14, 2014 11:05 AM

Thomas Meseroll
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220cl Journeys in Narrative CA02
12 March 2014

QUESTION #51:
Canto IX: In Canto IX, Dante and Virgil approach the city of Dis at the center of hell. They encounter the Three Furies or Erinyes here. What are these three beings? (Consult a mythological dictionary, encyclopedia, or look online for this information.)

ANSWER:

In Canto IX, the Furies that Dante and Virgil encounter, are mythological monsters that were the goddesses of vengeance. According to Greco-Roman mythology, The Furies, or Erinyes (Greek) were the daughters of Gaea (Earth) and Uranus. These monsters were merciless and vengeful beings that resided in the underworld and would come to earth to punish all who committed crimes. Their names were Megaera (the jealous), Alecto (constant anger), and Tisiphone (avenger of murder). Dante's describes them as "three hellish Furies stained with blood, their bodies and their gestures those of females: their waists were bound in cord of wild green hydras, horned snakes and little serpents grew as hair, and twined themselves around the savage temples." (Canto IX, ln 38).

References:

http://www.in2greece.com/english/historymyth/mythology/names/furies.htm
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/222733/Furies

Posted by: Thomas Meseroll at March 14, 2014 11:43 AM

Paola Vasquez
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
14 March 2014

QUESTION #46: Canto VII: The fourth and fifth circles: how do the punishments of those located here fit their perspective crimes? What sort of progression(s) do we seem to be following as we move further down in Hell—e.g., psychological, aesthetic, sensory, meteorological…?

ANSWER: In fourth circle, they are forced to push stones against one another and admitting they are wrong. This punishment was for the Avaricious and the Prodigal. Virgil explains how they are the hoarded and squandered, and they spent their money in unnecessary ways. They must work against each other forever consequently to their imbalanced lifestyle. “ And when they met and clashed against each other/ they turned to push the other way, one side screaming, “Why hoard?,” the other side, “Why waste?” (Alighieri, 1074, lines 28-34)
In the fifth circle, the Wrathful are at the bank of the Styx river, constantly fighting in the mud. This punishment was because they can’t control their anger. While the Sullen are at the black tar river, forever choking. Since they did not appreciate the freedom they had, they are stuck at the river. “They fought each other, not with his hands alone, but struck with head and chest and feet as well.” (Alighieri, 1076, line 112-113)
Psychological progression we seem to be following as we move further down in Hell because the punishments are because of personal problems they have.

Posted by: Paola Vasquez at March 14, 2014 11:58 AM

Jacklyn O'Brien
Dr.B.Lee Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative
14 March 2014

QUESTION #62:
Cantos X-XI, X &XIII: Look up "epicurean" in a good dictionary. What kind of sin is it?

ANSWER:
Out of the seven deadly sins Epicurean would be considered the sin of SLOTH.

Posted by: Jacklyn O'Brien at March 14, 2014 12:23 PM

Antonio De Niz
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
12th March 2014

Question 58:
Canto XI: What do we learn in this canto about the hierarchy of sin? Like many things in the Inferno (and in the Commedia generally), sins come in a set of three [Cf. Augustine’s characterization of the three “chief kinds of wickedness,” Conf. p.47]. Is Dante working with the same three kinds? If you remember from other religious courses at SLU where have we seen Augustine’s categories of sin come into play in the Inferno?

Answer:
What we learned in this canto about hierarchy of sin is that there are various levels of sins. Depending on what you do can put in a different place in hell. Dante is working with the same three sins because he wants to commit the same sins; he has to realize that if he does not change he could be in the same position as those people in hell. We have seen Augustine’s categories of sins come into play throughout the Inferno story. There are many examples of when he goes to hell that are in common with Augustin’s categories of sins because of the different levels of hell.

Posted by: Antonio De Niz at March 14, 2014 12:25 PM

Brittany C. Davis
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
Eng 220 Journeys in Narrative
March 13, 2014
Inferno
66. Canto XII: Notice Dante’s address to the reader. Compare it to his addresses in other rare places (VII and VIII, for instance). Does his speech here represent any kind of thematic development, do you think?
As far as Dante’s theme changing, it does not. At least no drastically I think, when he speaks to the reader he sticks to describing what he can see around him, like “there was something appalling to the eye. Like the ruins this side of Trent left by the landslide” (Puchner 1090). Themes throughout Inferno are explained through dialogue, not through narration.

Posted by: Brittany C. Davis at March 14, 2014 12:45 PM

Kelsey Stevens
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
14 March 2014

Question 53: Canto IX: Why does Virgil turn Dante away and cover his eyes as the Medusa approaches? Why is he so afraid of her?

Answer: Virgil turned Dante away and covered his eyes when Medusa appears because if you look at her you will turn into stone (Dante, 1080). Dante was so afraid of her because she has snakes for hair and the Furies were trying to get Medusa to turn Dante into stone (Dante, 1081).

Posted by: Kelsey Stevens at March 14, 2014 01:01 PM

Diana Berthil
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
13 March 2014

QUESTION:
# 52. Canto IX: What physical actions do the Three Furies take as they confront the two pilgrims Virgil and Dante? What do those gestures and actions suggest about their state of mind?

ANSWER:
The physical actions that the Three Furies take as they confront the two pilgrims is that, "with flailing palms the three would beat theirs breasts, then tear them with their nails, shrieking so loud" (Puchner 1081); this suggests that they are in a state of frenzy, physically and mentally.

Posted by: Diana Berthil at March 14, 2014 01:13 PM

Marssiel Mena
Dr.B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
14 March 2014
Question: #56
Canto IX: In the lines of Canto I, we hear what structures make up the city of Hell. What structures are visible everywhere with flame scattered between them?
Answer:
In this passage he Dante mentions that "[...], scattered everywhere among the tombs were flames that kept them glowing[...]. Each tomb had its lid loose, pushed to one side [...], that I was sure inside were tortured souls (Puncher 1083).

Posted by: marssiel mena at March 14, 2014 01:15 PM

Jack Constant
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Eng220CL Journey into Narrative CA01
14 March 2014

Question 61: What is the political theme of Canto 6? How does it relate to Dante's own political experiences?

Answer: It seems like the political theme is chaos and disarray. There is a prophecy told about the war between the black and white Guelf's. Dante is a white Guelf, so he is interested in that side of the political spectrum and the other people who are apart of the white Guelf party.

Posted by: jonathan constant at March 14, 2014 01:45 PM

Rebecca Maldonado
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journey in Narrative CA01
14 March 2014

Question #47: How do you rate Virgil’s performance as a guide in this Canto? How does Dante-pilgrim rate it? Dante-poet? What distinctions/hierarchies begin to emerge among D-pilgrim, D-poet, and Virgil-guide?
Answer:
As a guide, I would say that Virgil does a good job as a protector in this canto. He protects Dante-pilgrim from Phlegyas (Puchner 1077) and from the creature that tries to shake their boat (Puchner 1078). Virgil also was very calm and sure as he guided Dante the pilgrim through to the boat. “My leader calmly stepped into the skiff…” As they reach the other side and land in Dis, Virgil leaves Dante to speak with those at the gates, saying “[d]o not fear, the journey we are making/ none can prevent: such power did decree it./ Wait here for me and feed your weary spirit/ with comfort and good hope; you can be sure/ I will not leave you in this underworld,” (Puchner 1079).
Dante the Pilgrim has faith in his leader or else he probably would not have followed him thus far. As far as hierarchies go, Virgil has obviously come down from heaven to guide Dante the pilgrim on his journey. Having otherworldly knowledge and power is the one most in charge.

Posted by: Rebecca Maldonado at March 14, 2014 01:54 PM

Jose Parra
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys of Transformation in Narrative
March 14, 2014

Question #64:
Notice the vivid description which emphasizes the blasted, vertical nature of the landscape. Why is this significant?
Answer:
As Dante and Virgil descend into the Seventh Circle of Hell, they do so by a huge landslide. They see a river of boiling blood in which the souls of the violent boil. He describes his surroundings "Not only was that place, where we had come to descend, craggy, but there was something there that made the scene appalling to the eye. Like the ruins this side of Trent left the landslide that hit the Adige on its left bank" (p. 1090). "Coming closer you will see the river of blood that boils the souls of those who through their violence injured others" (p. 1091). The significance of this and the significance of him describing what hell looks like is part of the theme, Gods Justice. For each sin, there’s a certain punishment in hell for that very sin and Dante describes all of the sinners and their form of punishment throughout the story.

Posted by: Jose Parra at March 14, 2014 01:57 PM

Alvaro Rambaldi
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
14 March 2014

Question #62
Cantos X-XI, X & XIII: Look up "epicurean" in a good dictionary. What kind of sin is this?

ANSWER:
The word "epicurean" is defined as involving an appreciation of fine food and drink: of or relating to an epicure. Therefore, the fact that an individual is considered an epicurean can be related to as a sinful person.

Two of the seven deadly sins are lust and gluttony. Lust means the intense desire for something that includes, food, money, power, sex, and etc. Gluttony on a not so different hand is described as the desire of or eating and drinking in excess.

Summarizing, an epicurean carries with himself the characteristic of a person with two deadly sins.

Posted by: Alvaro Rambaldi at March 14, 2014 02:05 PM

Allie Clemons
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA01
26 February 2014

Question 51:
Canto IX: In Canto IX, Dante and Virgil approach the city of Dis at the center of hell. They encounter the Three Furies or Erinyes here. What are these three beings? (Consult a mythological dictionary, encyclopedia, or look online for this information.)

Answer:
The three furies were Goddesses who avenged crimes against the natural order. They were particularly in favor of homicide, unfiilal conduct, crimes against the gods, and perjury. These woman were known most for “fruitless remorse that does not lead to repentance.”

Posted by: Allie Clemons at March 14, 2014 02:08 PM

Kelsey Stevens & McClellan Lowry
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys In Narrative CA02
14 March 2014

Canto III
The most important passage from Canto II is from lines 9-30. This passage begins with “Abandon every hope, all you who enter.” This is a welcoming into hell. Dante says that these words are cruel but Virgil’s response shows us his understanding of the structure of hell. When Virgil put his hand on Dante’s this was foreshadowing for us. This shows the reader that Virgil is a very trustworthy mentor. Dante (the poet) explains what hell is like. He says that there are cries and shrieks throughout hell. When first hearing this, Dante the Pilgrim begins to weep. This portrays Dante’s fear of his journey through hell. This affects how the reader feels about the story because before this passage, the reader is not really sure

Posted by: McClellan Lowry at March 14, 2014 02:18 PM

Michael Castronuovo, Lydia Beach
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
14 March 2014

Canto VI
“Although this cursed race of punished souls shall never know the joy of true perfection, more perfect will their pain be then than now.”
This passage is significant because it represents what is probably the most dangerous obstacle that Virgil and Dante must get through, which is the three-headed dog. It also represents the souls in hell and the hopelessness that they have.
This passage sheds light on the fact that the souls in hell will never be happy again because they are dead and will never have their souls reunited with their bodies.

Posted by: Michael Castronuovo, Lydia Beach at March 14, 2014 02:19 PM

Chantal Bouthillier
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL - ON THE PROVERBIAL ROAD: JOURNEYS OF TRANSFORMATION IN NARRATIVE CA02
17 March 2014

QUESTION #85:
Canto XV: Who is Brunetto Latini and what is his message to Dante?

ANSWER:
Brunetto Latini was a real life philosopher and plays Dante’s mentor. “Brunetto Latini, a famous Florentine intellectual and Dante’s former teacher.” (Puchner, 1101). Latini predicts that Dante will be rewarded for his actions. “It might be good to know who some are, about the rest I feel I should be silent, for the time would be too short, there are so many. In brief, let me tell you, all here were clerics and respected men of letters of great fame, all befouled in the world by one same sin.”(Puchner, 1104).

Posted by: Chantal Bouthillier at March 17, 2014 05:14 PM

John-Wesley Ingraham, Dexomia livia

“And when I saw him standing in this wasteland, “Have pity on my soul,” I cried to him, whichever you are, shade or living man!” (Puchner 1055)

2. Answer this: What makes your selected passage significant to the story, as a whole (so far)?
It’s when Dante first meets Virgil, the mentor that helps him through his journey, and begs him to guide him through the passage through hell. Upon Virgil’s agreement, the adventure begins.

3. Answer this: How does understanding this passage shed more light on the call to adventure to passage through hell?

Posted by: John-Wesley Ingraham at March 18, 2014 01:57 PM

Alexa Griffith-Hardy
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
24 March 2014

Question #74:
“Canto XIII: The spenders appearance at the end of the Canto might be confusing to some: these are people who like the suicides, willfully cast away their possession, purposely destroyed their earthly possessions, which was considered violence against oneself. Why are the over/big spenders as “bad” as those who committed suicide? Why is this significant to the narrative? Explain.”
Answer:
The over/big spenders are as “bad” as those who committed suicide because “Like the rest, we shall return to claim our bodies, but never against to wear them-wrong it is for a man to have again for a man to have again what he once cast off”(Puchner 1096).” This has a significance in the narrative because it is hard to understand how over spending or big spending can make one a bad person. However, it is because one will get greedy and have more demands in life.
Work Cited
Puchner, Martin. Dante Inferno. Trans. Musa, Mark. W.W. Norton & Company, INC., 2001. Print.

Posted by: Alexa Griffith-Hardy at March 22, 2014 09:52 AM

Alexa Griffith-Hardy and Thomas Meseroll
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
24 March 2014
Answer:
Tommy and I had passage V for our close reading activity. Passage V deals the second circle of hell, with an emphasis on lust. The section of the passage we chose to focus on was Francesca da Rimini and her lover Paolo. The section was “I said, “Francesca, the torment that you suffer brings painful tears of pity to my eyes.” (Puchner 1070). Dante did not understand why these two were placed in Hell they seemed like such good people. Francesca had once been married to a king and had an affair with the King’s brother causing a huge scene throughout the village and the king ended up killing both his wife and his brother. This is a huge influence on Dante because it was amazing that two people who had very little flaws and did not seem to be deserving of being placed in hell could be in such an awful place. There is always more than just what meets the eye.

Work Cited
Puchner, Martin. Dante Inferno. Trans. Musa, Mark. W.W. Norton & Company, INC., 2001. Print.

Posted by: Alexa Griffith-Hardy and Thomas Meseroll at March 22, 2014 10:17 AM

Mariana Convery
Rebecca Maldonado
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA01
19 March 2014

In-Class Close Reading Dante Cantos IV

We chose the following passage from Cantos IV, “Now you should know before we go on farther, / they have not sinned. But their great worth alone / was not enough, for they did not know Baptism” (33-35). In context to the whole, this passage, which is a conversation between the peasant and Virgil, which implies that even those who were “great” yet never had the opportunity to receive baptism (In other words, to become a Christian) because it was before their time, even they are not pardoned from hell. This implies, how much worse it will be for those who have had the opportunity for baptism but have not followed the laws required to get into heaven.

This is a very significant passage because Dante tells us that the first layer of hell are for those who “have not sinned” (34), which really tells the reader that it is not an easy task to get into heaven if even non-sinners can’t get there. It also speaks to the idea of baptism being a very significant process to getting into heaven. Yet, it also speaks to the mercy of God, as “he” granted a type of immunity to those who did not have the opportunity to use their free will such as pre-Christian pagans and infants. This also implies, however, that those who were born after Christ will not be afforded the same opportunity, unless they have not been exposed to the teachings of Christianity. It also speaks to the idea of evangelism so that everyone in the world can have the opportunity to receive baptism in order to go to heaven.

The passage also sets the tone for the sinners to come. Although the top layer of hell is not such a bad place, it is still considered hell and not the ultimate heaven; therefore, the next layers of hell must be very terrible places because the top layer is for non-sinners, but the next eight layers belongs to the real sinners. The question still remains, however, what type of sinners are going to be in each layer of hell and leaves the ultimate question for the climax, “who is going to be at the last layer of hell?”

The question that emerges from this passage is why a god who is supposed to be all knowing and all loving would create humans with such “imperfections” and then because of a few “mistakes,” send them to hell for eternity, especially an infant, who has absolutely no idea what is going on. Even if the first layer is somewhat of a paradise, it does not seem like the right place for an infant.

Work Cited
Alighieri, Dante. “Inferno.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Shorter Third Edition. Ed. Martin Puchner, et al. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. 1053-1172. Print.

Posted by: Mariana Convery at March 22, 2014 12:23 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
22 March 2014

Question 60:
Cantos X-XI, X, & XIII: Paolo and Francesca (Canto 5) are some of the more attractive sinners in Hell. What does Dante do, in a very short space, to make them real to us? Why do you think he makes them so sympathetic (they are, after all, sinners)?

Answer:
In Canto 5, Dante makes Paolo and Francesca seem happy together, calling them doves (Puchner 1069). He portrays them in such a way that they don’t care what happens to them as long as they are together. As Dante puts it, they wept as they told their story and say that the worst thing for them is to remember their past happiness while they exist in the grief of Hell (Puchner 1070). The sin that Francesca and Paolo committed seems extremely innocent in comparison to other people condemned to Hell. I think Dante was trying to show that not all people in Hell are evil or bad people. I also think he wanted to show how the tortures of Hell may not be all bad if one looks in a positive direction, like Francesca and Paolo being happy to be together.

Posted by: Craig Graves at March 22, 2014 03:26 PM

Marssiel Mena
Dr.B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CAO2
23 March 2014

Question#90:
90. Canto XVI: When Dante observes Virgil's action at the cliff's edge (he throws Dante's
belt into the abyss), he puts it together that "some strangeness surely will answer from
the deep"-but notice he isn't afraid or doubtful. Progression? Explain the significance
here.
Answer:
There is progression here from Virgil, he knows what he must do in order to take Dante through this journey in, he has no fear in doing so. It is as if they both became one Dante said, " how cautious a man must be in company with one who can not only see his actions but read his mind and understand his thoughts!" (Puncher 1107). This shows Virgil as a mentor whether then just a friend or ally.

Posted by: Marssiel Mena at March 23, 2014 04:15 PM

Dexomia Livia
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL-Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
24 March 2014
Passage from “Inferno”
“Inferno” is one of the first parts of Dante’s Divine Comedy, also known as Divina Commedia. The historical context of Dante’s poem refers to the medieval Catholic theology. In “Canto I,” there is Biblical context taken from the Old Testament and put into the first Canto such as verses of Romans and Exodus. Furthermore, during this Canto, Dante expresses how Dante the Pilgrim establishes his way with Virgil towards the path for salvation. However, Virgil cannot guide Dante the Pilgrim towards Paradise because he “rebelled against God [for being] not Christian” (Puchner 1056). During the reading of “Inferno,” the main character goes through many adventures along with his mentor Virgil. This paper will be a close reading of a passage taken from the first chapter of the “Inferno” reading, “Canto I”. The passage will be analyzed up to a point where the reader will be able to understand better the beginning of the story.
The chosen passage from “Canto I” is: “When I saw him standing in this wasteland, ‘Have pity on my soul,’ I cried to him, ‘whichever you are, shade or living man!’” During the first Canto, Dante’s theme is at first fear and then relief. The theme is fear because the reading shows how in the beginning of “Canto I,” Dante the Pilgrim is scared of the three beasts: the Leopard, Lion, and She-Wolf. When he encounters these three beasts, they make him “fill with fear and drive him back down to the sunless wood” (Puchner 1053). Dante the Pilgrim is scared because he knows he may not overcome the beasts that block the path through Hell and Purgatory. Then, later in “Canto I,” the theme switches to be relief. This is because after the encounter with the last beast, the She-Wolf, Dante the Pilgrim meets Virgil, who used to be a living man and agrees to “guide him on the path through Hell and Purgatory” (Puchner 1053). Dante the Pilgrim is relieved because he knows Virgil knows the way through Hell and Purgatory and that later on, Virgil will send him to another spirit that will lead him on his journey to Paradise. The main character will not be alone anymore, and he knows he has Virgil to help him to defeat any monsters he encounters.
During the passage of this first Canto, the characters are Dante and Virgil. When the story opens, Dante the Pilgrim “wakes up to find himself lost in the dark wood” (Puchner 1053). As it was stated above, he encounters three beasts that block the path through Hell and Purgatory. These beasts symbolize “three major forms of sin found in Hell [. . .] fraud, violence, and incontinence” (Puchner 1055). Dante the Pilgrim is terrified by these monsters, and in the last encounter with the third beasts, he sees someone “standing in this wasteland” (Puchner 1055). In the chosen passage from “Canto I”, Dante the Pilgrim asks what appears to be the figure of man to have pity on Dante the Pilgrim’s soul because he thought that the figure would want to extinguish him like the other beasts, who tried to do the same. Then, he asks it to reveal himself by asking it if it is a “shade or living man” (Puchner 1055). The figure is the shade of Virgil, who used to be a living man. When Virgil was alive, he was a well-known poet, and Dante the Pilgrim is a fan of his work. He admires Virgil and because of this, Dante the Pilgrim begs Virgil to guide him in his journey.
The chosen passage is important because it shows when Dante the Pilgrim and Virgil meet. During “Canto I”, Virgil agrees to help Dante the Pilgrim on his journey. In that moment, Virgil becomes Dante the Pilgrim’s mentor, which is a very important step for the opening of “Inferno” because besides being a mentor to him, Virgil will also help him battle enemies that will approach on their way. Furthermore, this place is set in the year 1300 B.C.E, and it is taking place in the dark woods as Virgil looks for another route in order to pass the path through Hell and Purgatory. This passage is taking place because it is main part of the story, and it talks about when these two individuals meet and how Virgil ends up being the mentor of Dante the Pilgrim.
Moreover, Dante has explicitly said through this chosen passage how terrified Dante the Pilgrim was in the beginning of the story. Dante the Pilgrim cries to the shade of Virgil, “Have pity on my soul.” This demonstrates that he was already scared. He had been scared since the time he woke up lost in the dark valley, and he was scared again when he knew terrifying beasts were blocking his desire path. Dante the Pilgrim felt scared when he thought the shade of Virgil was going to end him, once in for all.
In conclusion, in the chosen passage of “Canto I” of “Inferno,” Dante expresses in one of the important parts in the opening of the story, the mentor. For Dante the Pilgrim, meeting the mentor, Virgil, is valuable in the story because it shows the guidance and teaching that Virgil bestows on Dante the Pilgrim. Alongside the mentor, Dante the Pilgrim has new adventures and start to advance towards his path for salvation. Dante the Pilgrim now has someone by his side who will help him to accomplish his goal, which is to go to Paradise to be saved.


Posted by: Dexomia Livia at March 23, 2014 09:27 PM

Henry Adu, Brittany Davis
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
23 March 2014

Question Canto IX
What physical actions do the three Furies take as they confront the two pilgrims Virgil and Dante? What do those gestures and actions suggest about their state of mind?

Answer
The Three Furies arrived to the scene where Virgil and Dante are contemplating the recent failure of Virgil. The physical actions that the Three Furies take are remotely abnormal, because they start to “beat their breasts, then tear them with their nails” (Puchner 1080). Along with the shrieking and laughter of the Three Furies, they call upon Medusa, who will come to turn Virgil and Dante into stone. The gestures and actions that the Three Furies take upon the presence of Virgil and Dante suggests that they are arrogant and very content in calling upon Medusa to kill them. They also act very eager and somewhat disturbed to see Virgil and Dante, which would explain the abnormal reaction that occurred.

Posted by: Henry Adu at March 23, 2014 11:49 PM

Michael Castronuovo
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
24 March 2014

QUESTION #77:
Blasphemy is pretty easily understood, but nevertheless, the point is hammered home three times; once by Dante, the Capaneus, then Virgil. Why is this significant?

ANSWER:
Blasphemy is significant in this story because it shows the immensity power that God has over people in that if anyone were to doubt Him, they’d be sentenced to hell. For example, Capaneus was sentenced to hell for exclaiming that not even God could be more powerful than him (Alighieri 1099), and is now a prisoner in hell when he was once a legendary king.

Posted by: Michael Castronuovo at March 24, 2014 12:44 AM

Kent Wood
Chantal Bouthillier
Natalie White
Dr.B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
24 March 2014

In-Class Close Reading Activity
Canto IV(4)

Our group felt that lines 21-30 in canto 4 were most significant, "He entered then, leading the way for me down to the first circle of the abyss. Down there, to judge only by what I heard, there were no wails but just sounds of sighs rising and trembling through the timeless air, the sounds of sighs of untormented grief burdening these groups, diverse and teeming, made up of men and women and of infants."

This was significant because it explains who is going to where (Circle of hell) what they going through it describes the atmosphere of the Circle of Hell. It also tells us the people who are immersed in this Circle of hell for example men women infants in limbo. They were being tortured however, no screams were being heard just sighs of grief.

This passage sheds more light on the journey Dante and Virgil is embarking on. It contains the souls of the people who were born before Christianity because they did not properly honor God or they were not baptized. It makes the journey he is about to go on seem very grim. It is a very religious based piece of work much aligned with Christianity as it makes many references to this faith.

The question of what did they do to deserve to be there is still unanswered at this point. How will they get through such a dangerous dark place and continue on their journey is a question which emerges from this passage.

Work Cited
Alighieri, Dante. “Inferno.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Shorter Third Edition. Ed. Martin Puchner, et al. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. 1053-1172. Print.

Posted by: Kent Wood, Chantal Bouthillier, and Natalie White at March 24, 2014 04:36 AM

Jesse Robinson
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
24 March 2014

QUESTION #84:
Canto XV: Notice how Dante seems to be very sure of himself in this Canto. He proves he’s lost his disorientation and knows the true purpose of his journey. The fearful, ignorant man who quarreled with Virgil (Reason), pitied Francesca, Farinata, and the Suicides seems to be receding. He’s taking a long view of things and not concerning himself with earthly bad “fortune.” You really see this when he replies in lines 78-93. Dante humors Latini, but makes it clear that he’s learned not to see eternity in his work, but in spiritual transcendence. When Latini “wins the race” at the end of the Canto, he has won a pyrric victory, and it’s sad. Why is this significant?

ANSWER:
Dante’s refusal of his mentor’s teaching and when Dante narrates Latini’s action, “And then he turned and seemed like one of those/ who race across the fields to win the green/ cloth at Verona; of those runners, he/ appeared to be the winner, not the loser,” this resembles the verse from I Corinthians 9:25. That biblical verse refers to a type of effort that aims to achieve something impermanent—just as Dante now believes, contrary to his mentor, that permanence is not through fame on earth. Dante describes Latini’s apparently winning the race, but he’s in Hell so it’s not much of a victory.

Posted by: Jesse Robinson at March 24, 2014 08:47 AM

Marssiel Mena
Antonio De Niz
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
24th March 2014

“But who am I to make such a journey? I am not Aeneas. I am not Saint Paul. I do not think that I am worthy to undertake such a journey, and I cannot believe that any other man would think that I am worthy of undertaking it.

“A great journey is ahead of you,” Virgil replied, “yet you are shying away from it like a coward or an animal that is afraid of its own shadow. To put courage in your heart, let me explain why I am here. Let me explain the pity I felt when I learned that you had strayed from the path of truth and had found yourself in the dark wood of error.

We chose this because it is the refusal of the call. In these two examples, Dante thinks he is not worth enough to go on this journey to hell. Virgil disagrees by saying that he is not a coward and he cannot refuse his duty or call.

Posted by: Antonio De Niz and Marssiel Mena at March 24, 2014 10:33 AM

Antonio De Niz
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
24th March 2014

Question 86:
Canto XV: Brunetto's character closely parallels Dante's (as many of the main characters who are pitied do). If we understand Brunetto's sin not as simple "homosexuality" but as "sacrilege, we can see that Dante is observing how he went astray by being too worldly. The fame he seeks (his notion of "eternity") has to do with earthly fame for his book rather than spiritual transcendence. It's a short view, as opposed to Dante's growing long view. Brunetto's eternity therefore is hell. He sins in an intellectual, scholarly way, putting man's knowledge ahead of spiritual revelation. Brunetto's work, The Treasure, is very parallel to the Comedy. Studying how they are similar and different reveals much about Dante's purpose. What can you say to this?

Answer:
Dante wants eternity and he wants to be famous, he especially puts his knowledge over spiritual revelation. The only difference between Brunetto and Dante is homosexuality. Even though they both want fame, Dante is willing to change, Brunetto blinded by everything that is going on, and he does not want to change. He would not change because he wants fame and money and does not care for anything else. Dante has a small portion of spiritual revelation and is willing to accept it. Those are the similarities and differences between the two.

Posted by: Antonio De Niz at March 24, 2014 11:06 AM

Jacklyn O'Brien/Tyler Sedam
Dr.B.Lee Hobbs
Eng 220cl Journeys in Narrative
24 March 2014


Canto VIII - Lines 115 to 120

This one stands out to me for several reasons. This part is where Virgil and Dante-Pilgrim have made it across the river Styx and are right outside the gate to the lower level of Hell, or the City Dis. The gate is guarded by rebel angels who are sitting on top of it cursing Dante for daring to travel in Hell when he is not dead, telling him to go back alone while Virgil stays. Dante pleads Virgil to not leave him or let him go back alone, and asks for him to get them through this gate, as he has done seven times before (notice the significance there). Virgil goes to talk with them alone, but is denied entry, as the gate is slammed in his face and the angels leave. Virgil, having been unshaken up to this point by anything encountered in Hell, is actually surprised by the fact that the rebel angels have denied him entry into Dis. So, not only did Virgil fail for the first time to get them through a gate, but he is also surprised, also a first for the journey, at having failed.

Posted by: Jacklyn O'Brien & Tyler Sedam at March 24, 2014 11:39 AM

Jose Parra
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys of Transformation in Narrative
March 24. 2014

Question #77:
Blasphemy is pretty easily understood, but nevertheless, the point is hammered home three times; once by Dante, then Capaneus, then Virgil. Why is this significant?
Answer:
Dante and Virgil make their way through the third ring of the seventh circle of hell. Virgil explains that here lies the souls of those who were violent towards God. Here they meet Capaneus, a king who besieged thebes. Each one of them go in on the subject of Blasphemy. The significance of this is to truly understand the idea of Blasphemy. According to the Bible Jesus says that Blasphemy is the "Unforgivable" sin. The way each one of them mentions Blasphemy is a way to underline how unforgivable it is.

Posted by: Jose Parra at March 24, 2014 12:00 PM

Paola Vasquez
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
24 March 2014

QUESTION #73: Canto XIII: Notice that the Harpies, who represent the demons in this area, do not threaten Virgil and Dante.Why not?

ANSWER: At the end of the Canto when the spenders appear it caused some confusion. These people willfully and purposely casted away their possession by destroying them which was considered as violence against yourself. “He began again: “That this man may fulfill/ generously what your words cry out for,/ imprisoned soul, may it please you to continue/ by telling us just how a soul gets bound into these knots, and tell us, if you know./ whether any soul might someday leave his branches.” (Alighieri, 1096, lines 84-90)

Posted by: Paola Vasquez at March 24, 2014 12:40 PM

Henry Adu, Brittany Davis
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
23 March 2014

Question Canto XIV
The contrapasso is particularly devious, as the sinners are punished within sight of mercy, the protection that Dante and Virgil enjoy. Why is this significant?

Answer
The contrapasso is so devious because blasphemy and Violence against God are terrible crimes so only natural that they endure the harsh climates of hell through the sight of mercy. Dante and Vergil enjoy the protection because they are nothing but observers in the performance. The sight of mercy is so severe because the sinners can see what could have been and how not only is there external suffering with the flakes of ember constantly burning, but an internal suffering of hell as their minds will forever be torturing by a lost hope. Its significant in the fact that the relationship shows a perfect type if hell with the ultimate punishment of external and internal. Vergil and Dante further their relationship in this contra to show Dante’s progress, as he shows no mercy towards the sinners trapped in this circle of hell. “We reached the confines of the woods that separate the second from the third round, there I saw God’s justice in its dreadful operation” (Puchner 4).

Posted by: Henry Adu at March 24, 2014 12:42 PM

Kent Wood
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
24 March 2014

Question #81:
The old man of Crete, a mountain in Crete, is a powerful image of decay; how does this image relate to the present story.

Answer:
This story at hand relates to the powerful image of decay because it speaks about people being punished and their souls running toward them. "When we saw a troop of souls come hurrying toward us"(Puchner 1102).

Posted by: Kent Wood at March 24, 2014 12:45 PM

John-Wesley Ingraham
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative
24 March 2014

Question #69:
Virgil continues to be inside Dante’s mind. When he observes Dante’s “mistake” concerning the wailing voices, and his bewilderment, instead of explaining he instructs Dante to break the branch from the tree, knowing the result. Why doesn’t he explains the contrapasso of other areas?

Answer:
In Canto XIII, Dante continues on his journey and is concerned when he here wailing voices. Virgil does not explain that trees are the souls of the suicides because he wants Dante to find out himself where the wailing voices are coming from. Virgil states, “now look around you carefully and see with your own eyes what I will not describe for if I did, you wouldn’t believe my words” (Puchner 1094).

Posted by: John-Wesley Ingraham at March 24, 2014 01:04 PM

Dexomia Livia
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL-Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
24 March 2014

QUESTION # 80
Canto XV: When the leave the blasphemers, who are writhing on the burning sand
within eyesight of protection, they come to a "amazing stream." Virgil says nothing he's
seen so far has been worth more note than this little stream, which fills Dante with
curiosity, and he emphasizes his hunger for knowledge, a good sign that he will learn
much. Why is this significant?

ANSWER:
It is significant for Dante to have a hunger for knowledge because by learning things will keep him out of the Inferno. Brunette, Dante’s former teacher, teaches Dante “how man makes himself eternal” (Puchner 1103). Dante is in gratitude with Brunette and tells him that he will write what Brunette tells him about his future and save it, so that Dante will give it to Beatrice to interpret it.

Posted by: Dexomia Livia at March 24, 2014 01:08 PM

Alvaro Rambaldi +Allie Clemons
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
23 March 2014

CANTO # 3
The passage that has the most significance to Canto 3 is " Though me Pass among the Lost People".

During Dante and Virgil's journey through Inferno they reach the boundaries of the gate of Hell where they read inscriptions such as "Abandon all Hope, You who Enter Here" and the one listed above. Those two passages are later understood when Dante hears loud cries in the beginning of Canto 3. Virgil explains to him that those are cries of people who did not commit to the good neither the evil in their lives and that is the reason why they weren't accepted by Hell or Heaven. . These souls are stuck Limbo. Limbo is from the Catholic Church and is an idea about the afterlife of those who die in original sin and limbo is referring to the edge of hell. Original Sin can be defined as the state of sin that steams from the fall of man, and correlates back to Adams rebellion in Eden.

Those souls can be considered to be "Lost People" because they are left behind or set aside from any labeling in Dante's Inferno to which they won't be assigned any specific place. Another description of lost could be explained as those who lost their sense of ethics in life by not committing in doing the what is right in their lifespan.

People who go to Heaven are in a way being rewarded for doing good during their lives and those who committed sins and did evil will be sent to Hell as a punishment. What is clearly a question mark is why are those who meet in the middle where they neither did good or bad have to stay at the Gate of Hell being bitten by wasps and flies and suffering?

Posted by: Allie Clemons at March 24, 2014 01:17 PM

Daniella Zacarias
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
Journeys of Transformation In Narrative Literature 220CL
24.3.2014
Question #89
89.
Cantos XVI: When the travellers turn towards the right, that is one of the rare times when they don’t turn left. This links the Canto with their right turn at the Gate of Dis. Why is this significant?
ANSWER.
Turning right instead of left is significant because it refers to the “straight path” mentioned in Canto I. (Puchner, 1053). The straight path refers to Proverbs 2:13-14, Proverbs 4:18-19, and 2 Peter 2:15, which are all suggesting to the right road, or the virtuous path that leads to Heaven and God.

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at March 24, 2014 01:24 PM

Diana Berthil, Daniella Kattan, and Paola Vasquez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
14 March 2014

QUESTION:
Canto IX; 1-3 passages

"Has anyone before ever descended to this sad hollow's depths from the first circle whose pain is all in having hope cut off?" I put this question to him. He replied, "It is not usual for one of us to make the journey I am making now. But it happens that I was down here once before conjured by that heartless witch, Erichtho (who could recall the spirit to its body)" (Puchner 1080).

ANSWER:
This chapter reassures the mentor/hero relationship between the Pilgrim and Virgil. For as they descend into the depths of hell with no help from the heavens, the Pilgrim fully relies on Virgil. Virgil himself having travelled this way before after his death, went on a mission for the witch Erichtho to bring back the soul of a traitor; this way Virgil has enforced his role as a mentor by guiding and protecting the Pilgrim.

Posted by: Diana Berthil at March 24, 2014 01:26 PM

Diana Berthil
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
23 March 2014

QUESTION:
# 62. Cantos X-XI, X, & XIII: Look up "epicurean" in a good dictionary. What kind of sin is this?

ANSWER:
Eqicurean; "fond of or adapted to luxury or indulgence in sensual pleasures; having luxurious tastes or habits, especially in eating and drinking." (dictionary.com)
This type of sin can be seen as lust and gluttony.

Posted by: Diana Berthil at March 24, 2014 01:27 PM

Jasmine Cedeno
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA02 Journeys to Narrative
24 March 2014
Question #47: Canto VIII: How do you rate Virgil’s performance as guide in this Canto? How does Dante-pilgrim rate it? Dante-poet? What distinctions/ hierarchies begin to emerge among D-pilgrim, D-poet, and Virgil-guide?
Answer:
Virgil’s guide into the lower level of Hell, Dis, was helpless to the protection of Dante. This means Dante entered a dangerous and conspicuous level of Hell. Virgil attempts to protect Dante and completes the mission successfully. This sets a hopeful tone and setting in the story for the character of Dante. Through Dis, Virgil and Dante experience severe danger to their spiritual and physical capabilities. This danger is as bad as the souls suffering in sin. Dante the poet cannot express his allegorical anger as well as recognize the new realm he has discovered. The character of Dante exceeds his feelings of sympathy for sin and the sinners by permanently becoming less sympathetic. Virgil approves of the intolerant reaction Dante develops against sin. Dante encounters the sinner, Argentini and does not becomes sympathetic to him instead he continues his journey as he watches the other sinners tear him apart. This intolerance spiritually draws Dante, the character closer to God and is recognized by the upper level of Hell. Dante, the character and the poet both impersonate the resemblance of divine justice overcoming evil.

Posted by: Jasmine Cedeno at March 24, 2014 01:37 PM

Allie Clemons
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA01
26 February 2014

Question 77:
Canto XIV: Blasphemy is pretty easily understood, but nevertheless, the point is hammered home three times; once by Dante, then by Capaneus, then Virgil. Why is this significant?

Answer:
I believe that blasphemy is mentioned three times by these different characters to show how important it is not to blaspheme. Blasphemy is the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk. Dante’s inferno shows that you definitely do not want to blaspheme because bad things will happen to you when you are in Limbo.

Posted by: Allie Clemons at March 24, 2014 04:16 PM

Taylor Schemehorn
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
25 March 2014

QUESTION #83:
Canto XV: This is Ring 3, Violence against Nature and Art. Debates rage about the meaning of this Canto. Although “sodomy” is basically “homosexuality” the sinners featured here didn’t all have a reputation for homosexuality. Rather than admit that Dante was “outing” some of these famous men, some critics insist that “sodomy” really refers to a class of sins associated with the city, Sodom, and they define “sodomy” as “sacrilege”. Read closely, do a little research, and decide for yourself! Which is it, and why?
ANSWER:
Even though sodomy is consider homosexuality I don’t think that is specifically direct towards homosexuals. I think it’s based off more towards male on male interaction. Maybe not necessarily homosexuality, but could be directed towards males and their sexual orientation. This doesn’t mean Dante was outing them in a negative way per say, but just characterizing them. “…When we saw a troop of souls come hurrying toward us behind the bank, and each of them looked us up and down, as some men look at other men, at night, when the moon is new” (Puncher, 1102).

Posted by: Taylor Schemehorn at March 26, 2014 12:51 AM

Daniella Zacarias
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
Journeys of Transformation In Narrative Literature 220CL
24March 2014
Question #92
92.
Cantos XVI: Study the section where we see the Geryon coming up from the abyss. Here is a significant theme that is explored as Dante prepares to introduce Geryon: the relative “truthfulness” of the Comedy as a work of “true fiction” and not “fraud” (lies, deception, etc.). Dante emphasizes that the image of Geryon is almost too incredible to describe, because it will seem like a lie. But he asserts that it is true. What he really means is that this vision of Geryon is authentic “revelation,” and his poem is an authentic testament; allegorical truths come wrapped in seemingly false imagery.
Revelation (think of the word “vision” to get rid of the religious connotation- an author’s “vision of truth”) is communicated by poetic imagery, which may not be literally true but is allegorically true. If we do not make this distinction, if Dante does not make this distinction, he might be accused of the very fraud he’s going to describe in the next circle, the sin that Geryon represents. But here Dante asserts that poetic truth is as valid as literal truth, and that the Comedy is true, despite its obvious imagery substance. Why is this significant?
ANSWER.
The significance of Dante asserting the truth in his writing is that it brings the reader back to Dante’s main goal; for the reader to believe that he indeed went to hell and saw everything being described. The Geryon carries Dante and Virgil down to the sixteenth circle of hell, where the deceivers are. Essentially Dante is about to describe the circle he would fit in if The Divine Comedy is fraud, if he has deceived his audience.

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at March 26, 2014 01:43 PM

Chantal Bouthillier
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys of Transformation in Literature CA02
27 March 2014

QUESTION #90:
Canto XVI: When Dante observes Virgil’s action at the cliff’s edge (he throws Dante’s belt into the abyss), he puts it together that “some strangeness surely will answer from the deep” –but notice he isn’t afraid or doubtful. Progression? Explain the significance here.

ANSWER:
Virgil’s action of throwing Dante’s belt into the deep abyss is significant because Dante’s belt is a cord and represents a religious meaning of what priest wear around their waists. “I wore a cord that fastened round my waist.”(Puchner, 1107). The poet no longer needs the cord so Virgil asks for Dante’s cord and throws it down into the deep and dark abyss where a horrible creature rises up before them. The tainted waters were “roaring sound loud enough to deafen us in seconds.” (Puchner, 1107). This action is an example of progression because it foreshadows that hell is becoming a darker and deadlier place with no sign of light or religious/Christian comfort. Even Dante himself feels at discomfort when he knew after he took off his belt that “something strange is going to happen.”(Puchner, 1107).


Posted by: Chantal Bouthillier at March 27, 2014 03:42 PM

Re-chia Jackson
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 The proverbial road: journey of transformation in narrative
19 March 19, 2014

Inferno canto XVI
Question 92
92. Canto XVI: Study the section where we see Geryon coming up from the abyss. Here’s a really significant theme that explored as Dante prepares to introduce Geryon: the relative “truthfulness” of the comedy as a work of true fiction and not fraud. Dante emphasizes that the image of Geryon is almost too incredible to describe, because it will seem like a lie. But he asserts that it is true. What he really means is that this vision of Geryon is authentic revelation, and his poem is an authentic testimony; allegorical truths comes wrapped in seemingly false imagery. Revelation is communicated by poetic imagery which may not literally true but is allegorically true. If we don’t make this distinction, if Dante doesn’t make this distinction, he might be accused of the very fraud he’s going to describe in the next circle, the sin that Geryon represents. But here Dante asserts that poetic truth is as valid as literal truth, and that the comedy is true, despite its obvious imaginary substance. Why is this significant?
Answer:
The significance of this is that Dante believes that Geryon is there to help him and Virgil. So he describes him to be this wonderful person and paints a picture of this monster that will step in to help him and his friend. It’s important to Dante that he makes this image and story he has created sound truthful among Virgil instead of it being a lie.

Posted by: Re-chia Jackson at March 30, 2014 05:26 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
27 March 2014

Question 68:
Canto XIII: The Violent against Themselves: Why are the Violent against Themselves (suicides) punished the way they are? Remember that in Dante’s system the sin itself is a form of punishment. What is the setting for this canto, and what other mythical settings does it recall? Why is Pier delle Vigne, a suicide, located deeper in Hell than Paolo and Francesca? Why should sins of violence and malice (or fraud) be punished more severely in Dante’s Hell than sins resulting from sensual appetites? What might Plato have said about Dante’s ordering of the different kinds of sins? What might a Roman, whose culture saw suicide the ultimate act of stoic self-control and self-determination, have said? Why does Dante put those who destroyed their own bodies with those who waste material goods? What does this suggest about Dante’s sense of personal identity and selfhood?

Answer:
In this Canto, people who committed suicide are punished by enduring eternity as dormant and thorny trees and bushes. They are punished in this way because they disregarded their bodies in life and thus do not deserve a human body in Hell. This Canto makes me think of a darker Garden of Eden where only the self-harming sinners are allowed. Pier delle Vigne is located lower than Paolo and Francesca because he chose to destroy himself over love instead of live with the love he found as Paolo and Francesca had (Puchner 1096). Sins of malice, violence, and fraud receive more severe punishments because they actually cause harm to an individual. Sins of pleasure do not cause harm to others. In cultures where suicide is revered, people who committed suicide may not be so harshly punished or so deep in Hell, but rather may be closer, if not before, the circles where sins of pleasure are located. I think Dante’s placement of the sin of suicide shows how the human body can be abused like material wealth. The human body needs to be cherished, not abused like trash. Putting sins the abuse the body with sins that abuse goods shows that people can treat anyone or themselves are garbage and not care.

Posted by: Craig Graves at March 30, 2014 08:07 PM

Re-chia Jackson
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 The proverbial road: journey of transformation in narrative
30 March 2014

Inferno
Question 78
78. Canto XIV: The contrapasso is particularly devious, as the sinners are punished within sight of mercy, the protection that Dante and Virgil enjoy. Why is this significant?
Answer:
This is significant because Dante and Virgil worship, and pray unto god so Dante understand the importance of him repenting of his sins and praying unto god for forgiveness. Most sinners are not able to repent in the inferno but Dante is, so as Virgil guide him and help him recognize his sins. So Dante could repent and understand each sin he committed and ask for forgiveness, and forgive himself.

Posted by: Re-chia Jackson at March 30, 2014 08:19 PM

Alexa Griffith-Hardy
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
30 March 2014

Question #75:
“Canto XIII: The anonymous suicide who speaks at the end of the Canto gives a bit of the history of Florence and demonstrates his wrongheadedness in attributing Florence’s continued fortunes to Mars, a false god. Yet, the more poignant point he brings out: while Florence has been rebuild many times, survived many wars and disasters, he took his own life. Why is this significant?”
Answer:
The scene where they are speaking with the Florentine who hanged himself in his own home, is very important because they are trying to understand how someone can just kill themselves. The Florentine says “Those citizens who built anew the city on the ashes that Attila left behind would have accomplished such a task in vain; I turned my home into my hanging place” (Puchner 1096). The Florentine became depressed because the city was being rebuilt on the ashes of dead people. The incidence that cause people to become depressed vary from person to person this shows that just because something makes you said doesn’t mean you should take your life.
Work Cited
Puchner, Martin. Dante Inferno. Trans. Musa, Mark. W.W. Norton & Company, INC., 2001. Print.

Posted by: Alexa Griffith-Hardy at March 30, 2014 09:49 PM

Michael Castronuovo
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
30 March 2014

QUESTION #81:
The Old Man of Crete, a mountain in Crete, is a powerful image of decay; how does this image relate to the present story?

ANSWER:
The Old Man of Crete represents a mountain called Ida, and was a happy and beautiful place (Alighieri 1100). However, it eventually decayed and began to source all of the rivers in hell from the tears of the old man. This image relates to the story because it represents a man who has aged and appears to have given up hope, just as the souls in hell have given up hope for themselves.

Posted by: Michael Castronuovo at March 31, 2014 12:14 AM

Dexomia Livia
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL-Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
31 March 2014

QUESTION #82
Canto XV: Another brutal test for Dante, as he's surprised to see his former master here. Battle against pity once again. Why is this significant?

ANSWER:
The first time Dante asked for pity was when he met Virgil, his mentor, Dante asked him to “have pity on his soul” (Puchner 1055). During the second time, Dante battles against pity when he sees his former teacher, Brunetto Latini. The teacher asks Dante to have a talk with him, and Dante says, “With all my heart I beg you to, and if you wish me to sit here with you, I will” (Puchner 1102). This passage is significant because it proves Dante begging again to someone for something, in this case, he begs Brunetto to stay for a while to talk to him.

Posted by: Dexomia Livia at March 31, 2014 12:26 AM

McClellan Lowry
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
Eng 220CL Journey in Narrative CA01
31 March 2014

Question 87:
Canto XVI The weirdly linked wrestlers at the beginning of Canto XVI once again tests Dante's pity, as he admits he'd like to "join them", but knows he'd be badly burned if he did. What is the significance of this?

Answer:
In Canto XVI Dante sees three men linked and he recognizes them as some of his former countrymen. He discusses his disdain for the current political sate of Florence. His pity toward these men is interesting because in a way he feels tied to them and shares their love for there country and much like them, for the moment he is on the out side looking in regards to over turning Florence.

Posted by: McClellan Lowry at March 31, 2014 11:13 AM

Brittany Davis
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
The proverbial road: journeys of transformation in narrative ENG 220CL
12 March 2014

“Inferno” From the Divine Comedy Question 76
76. Cantos X-XI, X and XIII: Does Pier della Vigne use language in a way that seems peculiar to you? What does his manner of speaking tell you about him as a person?
Answer.
Pier della Vigne’s way of speaking suggests that he believes he is innocent of the accusations done to him when he was alive. However, he knows that he is guilty of violence against himself by committing suicide. Pier della Vigne tells Dante and Virgil that “believing death would free me from all scorn, made me unjust to me, who was all just.” (Puchner 1096).

Posted by: Brittany Davis at March 31, 2014 11:24 AM

John-Wesley Ingraham
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative
30 March 2014

Question #78:
Canto XIV: The contrapasso is particularly devious, as the sinners are punished within sight of mercy, the protection that Dante and Virgil enjoy. Why is this significant?

Answer:
In Canto XIV, Dante and Virgil come to the edge of the Wood of the suicides and see a stretch of burning sand upon which many souls are being tortured. The souls in the part are of those who rebuke God and now suffer his revenge. Virgil instructs Dante to follow him saying, “Now follow me and also pay attention not to put your feet upon the burning sand”(Puchner 1099).

Posted by: John-Wesley Ingraham at March 31, 2014 11:36 AM

Paola Vasquez
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
26 March 2014

QUESTION #85: Canto XV: Who is Brunetto Latini and what is his message to Dante?

ANSWER: In real life, Brunette Latini was a philosopher but in the Inferno is Dante’s mentor. “Brunette Latini, a famous Florentine intellectual and Dante’s former teacher, recognizes the Pilgrim and leaves his band to walk and talk to him (Puchner, 1101).” He later predicts that Dante will be recognize, “ And he: It might be good to know who some are,/ about the rest I feel I should be silent,/ for the time would be too short, there are so many (Puchner 1104, lines 103-105).

Posted by: Paola Vasquez at March 31, 2014 12:06 PM

Antonio De Niz
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
31st March 2014

Question 83:
Canto XV: This is Ring 3, Violence against Nature and Art. Debate rages about the meaning of this Canto. Although "sodomy" is basically "homosexuality," the sinners featured here didn't all have a reputation for homosexuality. Rather than admit that Dante was "outing" some of these famous men, some critics insist that "sodomy" really refers to a class of sins associated with the city, Sodom, and they define "sodomy" as "sacrilege." Read closely, do a little research, and decide for yourself! Which is it, and why?

Answer:
Well sacrilege is violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. They accuse Dante of being associated with this sin. The reason for this is that even though all of the sinners there were not homosexuals they did commit the sin of violating and misusing something which is sacred to other people. That is what Dante is also being accused of because he is not homosexual he did not commit the act of sodomy but he is at fault for committing sacrilege.

Posted by: Antonio De Niz at March 31, 2014 12:22 PM

Henry Adu
Dr. B.Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL Journeys in narrative CA02
31 March 2014

Question: 72 Canto XIII
Francesca and Pier are similar in their misuse of language. Their rhetoric, hides their own responsibility for their sin. What other connections can you make between the imagery of this canto and earlier cantos, especially canto I?

Answer:
The main connection both Cantos share is that the circle of hell is housed within a dark forest. Canto I is about how Dante gets lost in a dark woods and meets up with Virgil, who agrees to take him into hell. “ I woke to find myself in a dark wood” . (Puchner 3). Canto 13 focuses on Dante’s journey through the circle of hell reserved for those who committed suicide. Here, the souls are trapped in the trunk of trees and made to suffer eternally. Two hunting dogs appeared and devoured a naked body, which is something that is also present in Canto I, in the form of the beasts that trap Dante from leaving hell. “ No green leaves, but rather black in color, no smooth branches, but twisted and entangled, no fruit, but thorns of poison bloomed instead”. (Puchner 6).

Posted by: Henry Adu at March 31, 2014 01:00 PM

Diana Berthil
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
28 March 2014

QUESTION:
# 73. Canto XIII: Notice that the Harpies, who represent the demons in this area, do not threaten Virgil and Dante. Why not?

ANSWER:
The Harpies do not threaten Virgil and Dante because the Harpies attack those who have committed suicide; "At last the Harpies feasting on its leaves, create its pain, and for the pain an outlet. Like the rest, we shall return to claim our bodies, but never again to wear them - wrong it is for a man to have again what he once cast off" (Puchner 1096), because of the judgement to destroy yourself the Harpies destroy you completely physically.

Posted by: Diana Berthil at March 31, 2014 01:26 PM

Jasmine Cedeno
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL CA02 Journeys to Narrative
31 March 2014
Question #80: Canto XV: When the leave the blasphemers, who are writhing on the burning sand within eyesight of protection, they come to a "amazing stream." Virgil says nothing he's seen so far has been worth more note than this little stream, which fills Dante with curiosity, and he emphasizes his hunger for knowledge, a good sign that he will learn much. Why is this significant?
Answer:
Virgil announces to Dante that the stream is the most notable feature they have encountered because it will allow Dante to experience curiosity and experience a deeper hunger for knowledge. Virgil claims the little stream signifies a learning experience Dante will encounter. This plays a significant role in Dante’s future in the Inferno. The more Dante learns about God the closer he will be drawn to him which will lead to his escape from the Inferno. He will reach higher and higher levels until he is completely out of hell. Dante will become so curious he will begin to ask questions about God and eternity with him. He will become so hungry he will continue his quest in search of knowledge of the realms, the exit and heaven. The curiosity and hunger will become the initial steps towards seeking answers from God and heaven. Virgil will be with him, at his side, to be able to answers the questions and lead him to the next voyage at a higher level of realms.

Posted by: Jasmine Cedeno at March 31, 2014 01:28 PM

Charles Fowler
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys into Narratives
31 March 2014
Question: 82. Canto XV: Another brutal test for Dante, as he’s surprised to see his former master here. Battle against pity once again. Why is this significant?
Answer: Dante’s former master was Brunetto Latini, he played a major role in educating Dante. Brunetto was located with the sodomites in the inferno where he recognized Dante. Brunetto also was highly respected by Dante and talked highly of his teachings. Brunetto used his knowledge to help the city and battle against pity.

Posted by: Charles Fowler at March 31, 2014 02:26 PM

Chantal Bouthillier
Dr. Lee. B. Hobbs
ENG 220CL On the Preverbal Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
31 March 2014

QUESTION #109:
Canto XXVII: What does the Black Angel send Saint Francis away? Explain.

ANSWER:
When Guido died, Saint Francis came for him ready to ascend with him to the pearly gates. Then the Black Angel pulled Guido away, saying that a man could not receive absolution before sinning, for absolution cannot precede repentance and repentance cannot precede the sin. “He was damned to Hell because he failed to repeat his sins, trusting instead in the pope’s fraudulent absolution.”(Puchner, 1143). Saint Francis is sent away by the Black Angel because Guido is guilty. The demon snatches Guido up, and assigned him to the Eighth Pouch of the Eighth Circle of Hell.

Posted by: Chantal Bouthillier at March 31, 2014 04:50 PM

Lydia Beach
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG220 Journeys in Narrative CA02
11 March 2014

Question 88:
Distances are a little surreal, as the waterfall that opened the Canto seemed far off and by its middle, with only a little travel, seemed so close as to be deafening. Significance?
Answer:
The significance of the waterfall getting louder is that it was so distracting that it was hard to pay attention to what was going on. It is similar to getting overwhelmed with daily activities.

Posted by: Lydia Beach at March 31, 2014 05:05 PM

Alexa Griffith-Hardy
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
2 April 2014

Question #126:
“Canto XXXIV: When Virgil and Dante run between Satan’s beating wings, Virgil stops and puts his feet on the ceiling and appears to turn upside down. What happened that allowed him to do this astonishing feat, and how is this connected to their location at the center of the earth?”
Answer: When Virgil and Dante are running between Satan’s beating wings, Virgil stops and puts his feet on the ceiling and appears to turn upside down, he is allowed to do this astonishing feat “because they have passed the center of the earth”(Puchner 1169) and gravity pulls them from a different direction. It is said that when someone crosses the center of the Earth gravity would have a different effect on you.

Work Cited
Puchner, Martin. Dante Inferno. Trans. Musa, Mark. W.W. Norton & Company, INC., 2001. Print.

Posted by: Alexa Griffith-Hardy at April 1, 2014 12:08 PM

Taylor Schemehorn
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
1 April 2014
QUESTION #124:
Canto XXXIV: Describe Satan’s body and appearance. What are some of his distinctive features in The Inferno?
ANSWER:
In Dante’s Inferno, Satan appeared very large, has six eyes and has three heads; each of them being another color. The middle head was red, the head on the right was both yellow and white, and the head on the right was the color of a person’s skin (Puncher, 1170). He had three sets of wings that appeared like the ones bats have and each of them continued flapping at all times; they were located under each head (Puncher, 1170). “Beneath each face two mighty wings strength out, the six you might expect of this huge bird (I never saw a ship with large sails): not feathered wings but rather like the ones a bat would have “ (Puncher, 1170).

Posted by: Taylor Schemehorn at April 1, 2014 08:44 PM

Daniella Zacarias
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
Journeys of Transformation In Narrative Literature 220CL
1.4.2014
Question #92
92.
Cantos XXXII – XXXIV: What sin is punished in the lowest level of Hell? Why do you think Dante’s considers this to be the worst sin? How are these sinners punished?
ANSWER.
The sin punished in the lowest level of Hell (Circle IX) are those who have been treacherous. Circle IX begins with Canto XXXII, the treacherous to kindred (family), then moves to Canto XXXIII, the treacherous to their own country, and finally Canto XXXIV, which is split into the treacherous against guests and the treacherous against benefactors. (Puchner1052). Treachery implies that the sinners have betrayed someone with a good heart, this may be why Dante considers the betrayal to be the worst sin, because it is betrayal to the innocent. In Canto XXXII the “Traitors are frozen.” (Puchner 1161). In Canto XXXIII the sinners are still frozen, but Archbishop Ruggieri’s brain are being eaten by Count Ugolino, whom the Archbishop betrayed. By Canto XXXIV, we reach Lucifer who is “frozen from the chest downward, […] and is made more fearful by the fact that in each of his three mouths he chews on one of the three benefactors: Judas Iscarot, Brutus, and Cassius.” (Puchner 1169).

Posted by: Daniella Zacarias at April 1, 2014 10:01 PM

Michael Adamson
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys into Narratives CA01
1 April 2014
Question:
Canto XXVII: Why is Count Guido like the victims tortured inside the brass bull of Phalaris?
Answer:
Count Guido is like the victims tortured inside the brass bull of Phalaris because he is paying for his sin just like they are. Count Guido did not follow his vows due to Pope Boniface VIII. He was fraudulent in the campaign against the Colonna family. Count Guido failed to repent his sins because he trusted in the Pope’s fraudulent absolution, which dammed him to Hell.

Posted by: Michael Adamson at April 1, 2014 10:20 PM

Michael Castronuovo
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
1 April 2014

QUESTION # 108:
What did Guido advise Boniface VIII to do? Explain.

ANSWER:
Guido advised Pope Boniface VIII to make a promise to Palestrina, but not keep his word on his promise (Alighieri 1146), and thus giving him a victory on his throne. He only gave him this advice because the pope promised he would be absolved of the sin he would commit and not go to hell. However, Guido ended up going to hell anyway because he did not repent himself of his sins (Alighieri 1146).

Posted by: Michael Castronuovo at April 1, 2014 11:38 PM

Dexomia Livia
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL-Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA02
1 April 2014

QUESTION #114
Canto XXXIII: How does Ugolino spend all eternity? What is his food?

ANSWER:
Ugolino spends all eternity in a tower of hunger, where he watches “moon after moon go by” (Puchner 1165). In addition, he cannibalizes the heads of other sinners; Dante says, “First wiped off his messy lips in the hair remaining on the chewed-up skull” (Puchner 1165).

Posted by: Dexomia Livia at April 2, 2014 12:41 AM

Re-chia Jackson
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 the proverbial road: journey of transformation in narrative
1 April 2014

Inferno
Question: 98.
98. Canto XXVI- Why does Dante begin this Canto with lament for Florence? Explain?
Answer:
Dante is telling the Florence to be happy that its name is known on earth and hell. Dante has realized that the Florence is thieves. He sarcastically praises them for making themselves well known on earth and hell for them sins.

Posted by: Re-chia Jackson at April 2, 2014 01:43 AM

Nicholas Heiting
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narratives CA01
2 April 2014

QUESTION #104:
Canto XXVII: What is the significance of the discussion of Romagna? Explain.

ANSWER:
The significance of the discussion of Romagna is to explain Italy’s political situation during Dante’s lifetime. Dante states that, “Romagna is not now and never was without war in her tyrants’ hearts” (Puchner 1144). Dante’s statement is about the tyrannical rulers of Romagna that have not halted its warfare. Also, in the excerpts of in this canto, it explains that the “subsequent passage describes the political conditions in the cities of Romagna” (Puchner 1144).

Posted by: Nicholas Heiting at April 2, 2014 02:07 AM

Marssiel Mena
Dr.B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220 CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
1 March 2014
Question: #103
Canto XXVII: Why is Count Guido like the victims tourtured inside the brass bull of Phalaris? Explain.
Answer:Count Guido is being tortured inside the brass bull of Phalaris because he claims he was tricked into giving someone false advice. Pope Boniface VIII told him " fear not, I tell you: the sin you will commit, it is forgiven," with these words, Count Guido told the pope what he wanted to hear (Puchner 1146). When Count Guido died he was taken by one of the black Cherubim for false counsel, to be tourued inside the brass bull.

Posted by: Marssiel Mena at April 2, 2014 09:46 AM

Paola Vasquez
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
2 April 2014

Question #123: Canto XXXIV: What is the source of the cold winds in hell that rhythmically blow outward from the center ring?

Answer: A windmill is the source of the cold winds in hell that rhythmically blow outward from the center ring. “ A far-off windmill turning its huge sails/ when a thick fog begins to settle in,/ or when the light of the day begins to fade,/ that is what I thought I was appearing./ And the gusts of wind it stirred made me shrink back/ behind my guide, my only means of cover. (Dante Alighieri, 1169 lines 4-10)

Posted by: Paola Vasquez at April 2, 2014 10:14 AM

McClellan Lowry
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL A Journey in Narrative CA01
2 April 2014

Question #127: Canto XXXIV: When Dante looks upward/downward to gaze at Satan, what does he see that horrifies him? Why is this funny?

Answer:
When Dante looks up at Lucifer (Satan) and sees him as a grotesque three headed monster. Each head is the face of one of the three worst sinners of the world. One head faced forward with two facing back, also he had two wings outstretched beneath the two heads on his back. Dante’s description of Lucifer is interesting because is pictures a monster of a version of God the same why the sinners of hell are monsters of their former human selves. And raises an the question of how could Lucifer, a monster, rival the likes of God.

Posted by: McClellan Lowry at April 2, 2014 11:45 AM

Antonio De Niz
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
2nd April 2014

Question 116:
Canto XXXIII: What is Friar Alberigo’s body and Ser Branca d’Oria’s body doing while their souls are in hell? Who or what does Alberigo claim is controlling these bodies?

Answer:
Friar Alberigo and Ser Branca D’Oria’s bodies are doing their souls are in hell because they are paying for their sins. Even though they are not dead, their sins are so great that they are in hell before their time. Alberigo claims that the devil is controlling their bodies.

Posted by: Antonio De Niz at April 2, 2014 12:00 PM

Daniel Menezes
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
4 March 2014

Question #112:
Canto XXXIII: In this canto, Dante and Virgil encounter Ugolino frozen in ice. What is Ugolino eating?

Answer:
Ugolino is chewing on the head of Archbishop Ruggieri. Ugolino previously refused food offered to him, this is why he gnaws on human flesh.

Posted by: Daniel Menezes at April 2, 2014 12:05 PM

Craig Graves
Dr. Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
2 April 2014

Question 101:
Canto XXVI: Why are Ulysses and Diomede punished here?

Answer:
In this Canto, Virgil shows Dante a valley of flaming souls who had all committed a grievous fraud against another (Puchner 1140). Ulysses and Diomede are punished together here, in one flame with two tongues, because they were the ones to conceive the Trojan horse and deceive an entire nation. Then Ulysses committed a series of tricks and frauds to get what he wanted until he died. Diomede, also, continued to trick others when he needed to get something done until he died. Both of these men abused their clever wit to get ahead.

Posted by: Craig Graves at April 2, 2014 12:52 PM

Jose Parra
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys of Transformation in Narrative
April 2, 2014

Question:
Why are Ulysses and his men unable to reach the Mountain of Purgatory?

Answer:
As Dante and Virgil make their way through the Eighth Circle, they encounter hundreds of flickering flames. Virgil explains that in each flame is a soul of a deceiver. Dante notices one flame that has two souls. Virgil explains that these are the souls of Ulysses and Diomed, heroes in Greek Mythology for their participation in the Trojan War. Ulysses narrates his last voyage during which he passed the Pillars of Hercules and how he sailed the forbidden sea. During his voyage he saw a mountain (the Mountain of Purgatory) then came a violent whirlwind that spun his ship around and sank it. "We had entered through the narrow pass-when there appeared a mountain shape, darkened by distance that arose to endless heights. I had never seen another mountain like it. Our celebrations soon turned into grief: from the new land there rose a whirling wind that beat against the forepart of the ship and whirled us round three times in churning waters; the fourth blast raised the stern up high, and sent the bow down deep, as pleased Another's will. And then the sea was closed again, above us" (p. 1143).

Posted by: Jose Parra at April 2, 2014 01:02 PM

Becca Orden
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG220CL Journey in Narrative CA01
2 April 2014

QUESTION 112:
Canto XXXIII: in this canto, dante and virgil encounter Ugolino frozen in ice. What is Ugolino eating?
ANSWER:
Ugolino is eating dates, that were served to him for the figs he gave (Puchner, 1168).

Posted by: Becca Orden at April 2, 2014 01:07 PM

Diana Berthil
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL Journeys in Narrative CA02
31 March 2014

QUESTION:
# 121. Canto XXXIV: What is the temperature like in the center of hell?

ANSWER:
The temperature in the center of hell is extremely cold, where the body of Lucifer and other condemned souls are frozen in ice; "And the guts of wind it stirred made me shrink back behind my guide, my only means of cover. Down here, I stood on souls fixed under ice" (Puchner 1169). The sight of ice quoted, goes against the preconceived notion and concept, that hell is a fiery pit of unimaginable heat.

Posted by: Diana Berthil at April 2, 2014 01:29 PM

Andrew Sherlock
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL - On the Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA01
13 March 2014

Question #55:
Canto X-XI, X, and XIII: Look up “epicurean” in a good dictionary. What kind of sin is this?

Answer:
This is a gluttonous sin.
Works Cited
Alighieri, Dante. "Inferno." Puchner, Martin. The Norton Anthology World Liturature Vol. 1. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2013. 1053-1172.


Posted by: Andrew Sherlock at April 2, 2014 01:53 PM

Alvaro Rambaldi
Dr. B. Lee. Hobbs
ENG220CL Journeys in Narrative CA01
1 April 2014

Question #113
How did Ugolino and his sons die in Pisa?

ANSWER:
Canto XXXIII begins with the sinner's tale where Dante and Virgil find and meet Count Ugolino. Count Ugolino tells them that he and his four sons were wrongly sent to a tower prison in Pisa for a scheme that the own Archbishop Ruggieri had planned. Ugolino and Ruggieri both lived in Pisa and Ugolino feels immensely angry for what Ruggieri set him up.

In prison, Ruggieri does not provide them with food and consequently starves all five to death. Prior to the death of Ugolino, he eats the corpses of his own son since they had asked his father to do so. When Dante and Virgil see Ugolino in Inferno, he is eating the head of Archbishop Ruggieri as a sign of anger and punishment.

Posted by: Alvaro Rambaldi at April 2, 2014 02:02 PM

Andrew Sherlock
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 220CL - On the Proverbial Road: Journeys of Transformation in Narrative CA01
2 April 2014

Question #81:
Canto XV: The Old man of Crete, a mountain in Crete, is a powerful image of decay; how does this image relate to the present story?

Answer:
The old man, who is deteriorating, represents the fall of man (Alighieri 1100).
Works Cited
Alighieri, Dante. "Inferno." Puchner, Martin. The Norton Anthology World Liturature Vol. 1. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2013. 1053-1172.


Posted by: Andrew Sherlock at April 2, 2014 02:27 PM

Wilfred Ras
Dr. Hobbs
ENG CL 220
April 3, 2014

Question #49 Canto IX:
Further challenges to Virgil’s authority. How does he hold up?

Answer:
Virgil had many challenges while guiding Dante in “the circle of hell”. There were many stages in this circle of hell. At each circle there was an object that they had to overcome in order to get in. When they were going to cross the river Charon warned them about entering. These souls are able to feel that there is a living soul in there. Minos in the second circle of hell warned Dante not to come in, however, Virgil manages to get him in again. At the third circle, there was Cerberus. Cerberus was a three-headed dog that was covering the entrance. Virgil ended up feeding him and kept them out of their way.

Posted by: Wilfred Ras at April 3, 2014 12:24 PM

Wilfred Ras
Dr. Hobbs
ENG CL 220
April 3, 2014

Question #8:
The natural home of Virgil and his pagan colleagues. How are they punished? Why is this fitting?

Answer:
Virgil lived in the first century B.C. He lived in Italy and was a really famous poet. He was condemned into an eternity in hell because he lived before the Christ’s appearances. Virgil was what they called neutral angel. He was not accepted in hell or heaven because he lived prior to the Christ age.

Posted by: Wilfred Ras at April 3, 2014 02:17 PM

Wilfred Ras
Dr. Hobbs
ENG CL 220
April 3, 2014

Question Canto XXVI:
What does Dante say he is going as a result of what he observed in Canto XXV?

Answer:
After seeing this fight between the souls and the serpents, Dante wanted to talk with these warriors. This does not really sound like a great idea, because these warriors are violent and ruthless. This was something I did not expect, because he had already fainted numerous times. However, Virgil steps in. Virgil warns Dante about this action, because Virgil mentioned that they might hear the Italian accent.

Posted by: Wilfred Ras at April 3, 2014 02:51 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment. ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at April 3, 2014 11:21 PM

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