Dante's Inferno Questions and Answers
by Dante Alighieri

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Explain Dante’s use of allusion in canto 5 of the Inferno. What purposes do the references to Minos and the lustful figures from mythology serve?

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Minos was an important figure in Greek mythology. Sometimes he was described as a human king and sometimes as the son of Zeus and Europa. He is famous for being heartless, as he would feed young people to the Minotaur. In some stories, he judges the dead in Hades. He punishes Scylla for disobeying her father. He would have been a familiar figure to literate Italians in Dante's...

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