Questions and Answers for Dante's Inferno

Dante's Inferno

Why is Dante's work entitled Divine Comedy when there's not even a hint of funny stuff in it?

In very basic terms, a comedy in Dante's time was the name given to a work that started badly but ended well. If we examine The Divine Comedy, we will see that it falls perfectly into this...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2021 10:39 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What do you think was Dante's purpose in writing Inferno?  

Dante wrote the Inferno while in political exile from Florence, and he uses it as a vehicle to express his political beliefs and take comfort in imagining bad ends for his enemies. However, the...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2021 12:55 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In Dante's Inferno, why does Dante have to go to Hell first before going to Heaven, rather than the other way around?

I think there may be a couple of reasons for this. One is that this is Dante's allegory of life, and as he is writing the story of a man who has strayed from the straight and narrow path to God,...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2007 12:20 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Why do you think Dante has chosen to encase Satan in ice instead of a lake of lava? What is the symbolism in that?

One of the most impressive elements about Dante's Inferno is his configuration of the inner- most regions of Hell. Dante clearly recognizes that there are two types of anger. The first type is...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2013 7:09 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Analyze the purpose of Dante's "Inferno."

Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy as an Italian epic poem. There are three parts of it, concerning Paradise, Purgatory, and Hell, but most people only read the Inferno. One purpose of the...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2017 4:05 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What role does Beatrice play in the poem? Does her sex and her identity as a woman whom Dante knew personally...

Beatrice effectively picks up from where Virgil left off. As a pagan, Virgil is unable to enter Paradise, but as a Christian, Beatrice can. Virgil can only lead Dante up to the gates of Paradise,...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2020 10:38 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What Are The 7 Levels Of Purgatory?

Dante envisions Purgatory as a mountain. The seven levels of Purgatory in Dante's Divine Comedy are called terraces. At the top of the mountain is paradise. To get there, a person must be purified...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2020 12:38 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What are the three categories of sin that Dante used in classification of sin (from Dante's Inferno)?

Inferno consists largely of a description of Hell and the various ironic punishments that await sinners of every variety. There are many different horrendous torments that await sinners, all...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2019 5:28 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In what language did Dante write The Divine Comedy?

It is difficult to imagine a work of literature of more importance to a national culture than Dante's The Divine Comedy. Not only did he write it in the Tuscan or Florentine Italian, this long poem...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2017 11:50 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What is the punishment for the sodomites in Cantos 15-16 of Inferno?

Dante puts the sodomites at the bottom of the seventh circle of hell. That's bad. Within the seventh circle, there are three rings. In ring number 1, Dante puts people who killed for their own...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2009 5:48 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

How or why is Dante sympathetic to some sinners and not others?

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) is an Italian poet who modeled The Divine Comedy after Virgil’s Aeneid in the form of an epic poem. It is separated into three distinct parts: the Inferno, or Hell,...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2020 8:55 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What is the moral lesson of Inferno?

If there's one moral lesson from Dante's Inferno that bears repeating it's that evil is always eventually punished. It doesn't matter who you are or who you think you are, only that you will one...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2020 11:20 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Who are the souls tortured in Canto III of Dante's Inferno?

In canto 3 of Dante's Inferno, Dante encounters those people not fully dead, yet are no longer alive, who wait in the antechamber between Heaven and Hell. Here they're subjected to the meaningless...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2019 9:20 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What are a few examples of symbolism from Canto 3 of "Dante's Inferno"? Were doing that story in English...

While short, Canto III of Dante's Inferno is the first glimpse we get into Hell. As such, there will naturally be a couple of key elements to note. Upon entering what, for lack of a better term,...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2018 4:48 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Why does Dante use the number "3" mutiple times in "Dante's Inferno"?

The number 3 is everywhere in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. For one thing, the poem itself is structured according to the rhyme scheme terza rima, which uses stanzas of three lines that employ...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2016 5:52 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

How is Dante’s Inferno an allegory?

Dante's Inferno is indeed a religious allegory. Dante is involved in a spiritual journey which will take him down to the fiery depths of hell, through Purgatory, and then finally up into the...

Latest answer posted August 6, 2018 6:51 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What is the relationship between Dante the Author and Dante the Pilgrim from Dante's Inferno? 

The major difference between the poet Dante and the character or pilgrim Dante is that the author is less sympathetic to the sinners in the circles of Hell than is the character. The poet Dante...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2017 4:52 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

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

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...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2018 12:20 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In Dante's Inferno, what are the sins Dante himself committed?

There is not an easy way to answer this question, as much would remain entirely speculative and perhaps reductive. Overall, Dante might claim that he is tempted by all of these sins and the poem...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2019 12:36 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What is Virgil's advice to Dante as spoken at the gate of Hell?

In canto III of the Inferno, Dante and Virgil reach the gate of hell. Dante is absolutely terrified. This is for good reason, too. He can hardly see a thing, but he can hear a lot; he hears a...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2017 5:09 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What is the point of Dante's journey through the after-life? What did it mean to be a Christian in Dante's time?

Dante is the middle of life when he embarks on his journey to the underworld and then to purgatory and paradise. At 35—midway between birth and his expected death at 70—he has lost his way. He no...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2018 2:11 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

How does the relationship between Virgil and Dante change throughout Inferno?

I would argue that the relationship between Dante and Virgil doesn't change that much over the course of The Inferno. When Virgil first appears in canto 1, he offers to help Dante, who has been...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2018 4:21 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Why does Charon dispute taking Dante on his boat?

In Canto 3, as Dante and Virgil stand on the "melancholy shore" of the River Acheron, the last barrier to their entrance into the underworld proper, Dante describes the approach of Charon: And...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2015 8:17 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What does the greyhound in Dante's Inferno symbolize?

In the first canto of the Inferno, Dante is driven off his path by a she-wolf. It is then that he meets the Roman poet Virgil, who is to guide him through the underworld. Virgil warns Dante to...

Latest answer posted September 19, 2020 3:04 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What's the main message of the book? Who was the audience? What is the impact of the context of the times on the...

One of Dante's messages is his belief that various types of sin will have different consequ3encesz in the afterlife. Of course, the religious control of almost all aspects of life during Dante's...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2010 3:51 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

How does Dante criticize the Church? If you could draw on three or four points, that would be great.

During Dante's time (the turn of the fourteenth century), the Catholic Church was known for greed and corruption. Dante's depicted hell is a place where the punishments for sinners fit their...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2020 7:05 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What are the rivers of hell and their ferrymen in Dante's Inferno?

The river and ferryman of Dante's Inferno are based on Greek myth rather than on Christian concepts of the afterlife, a reflection of Dante's work during the Italian Renaissance, when themes from...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2018 6:45 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Who are Anastasius and Photius in Dante's Inferno?  

Dante doesn't have much time for popes. At least for those who transgress what he regards as the appropriate bounds of their authority. There are numerous pontiffs in Dante's vision of Hell, cast...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2018 7:28 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Why was the poet Homer in hell in Dante’s Inferno? Which level of hell is he in? What is his eternal punishment? What...

The first circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno is described in canto 4. It is called Limbo. The people in this circle are not suffering in the manner of other denizens of Hell, because they are not...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2019 9:40 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

How many times does Dante reference Florence in Inferno?

In 1302, Dante Alighieri was exiled from Florence, the city where he was born in around 1265, by the Black Guelph government, which was headed in Florence at that time by Cante dei Gabrielli da...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2020 4:24 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

How many levels are in Dante's version of hell? Why are there even levels?

In the Inferno by Dante Alighieri, there are nine circles of Hell, each reflecting more serious sins and each having punishments reflecting the nature and severity of a specific type of mortal sin....

Latest answer posted October 2, 2015 9:26 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What are the soothsayers in Dante's Inferno?

The soothsayers are people who could foresee the future and who provided information to others based on what they saw. The classical soothsayer Tiresias from the Oedipus cycle is one example, and...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2018 7:15 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Describe Dante's use of the numbers 3, 9, and 10 in the Divine Comedy, but specifically reference The Inferno?

Of these numbers, three is the most significant in Dante's Divine Comedy, particularly in Inferno. The Divine Comedy as a whole is divided into three sections: Inferno, Purgatio, and Paradiso, the...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2017 2:12 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Why did Dante think it was necessary to categorize hell into a hierachy?

Dante creates a hierarchy of sinners in hell, with each circle of hell representing a more serious sin as the narrative descends from the second to the ninth circle. This serves a couple of...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2019 3:37 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In Canto 18 of Dante's Inferno, why is the priest in hell?

Dante explores the numerous circles of Hell in this story, in each of which a different sin is relegated. Throughout the story we have seen the punishments for a number of terrible sins, and in...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2019 1:28 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Of what is Dante's dark place symbolic?

The "dark wood" that establishes the exposition to the Inferno can literally be seen as an area in which the pilgrim does not know where he is. It is explained that the pilgrim, later to be...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2013 5:51 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Who is Dante’s traveling companion, and what is significant about this person serving as Dante’s guide in Dante's...

In the Inferno, which is the first part of the Divine Comedy, Italian writer Dante Alighieri describes his journey through the nine concentric circles of Hell. His companion and guide is Publius...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2019 6:20 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In the Dante's Inferno canto I, it speaks about "those who are happy and in fire." What does that mean?

Virgil is speaking to Dante in the lines in question, 1.1.118-120. To understand these lines, it is useful to back up a bit, to the previous six lines. At the end of the first Canto, Virgil is...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2007 4:19 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

How many levels of hell are there in Dante's The Inferno?  What does Dante see on each? From the book The Inferno,...

Here are the levels: Level 1) Limbo: a peaceful and sad place, a place of unbaptised, non Christian souls. Level 2) The level of the lustful. Strong winds violently blow their souls to and fro for...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2009 9:29 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Describe Virgil's function in the Inferno. How does he differ from Dante?

In The Divine Comedy, Virgil acts as Dante's guide and mentor. His unfailing wisdom and patience help Dante get through the many trials and tribulations he endures on his epic journey, stiffening...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2019 4:50 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In Inferno, Dante compares Paolo and Francesca to doves. Canto 5, lines 82-87. Why do you suppose Dante uses such a...

I think that your assertion that the dove is a sympathetic symbol is an assumption. Dante draws from plenty of classical sources; in classical myth the dove is associated with Venus (eros as...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2011 12:18 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In "Dante's Inferno", why does Virgil speak of "false and lying gods?"

I don't recall the actual reference but the gods in classical literature can often be seen as false or unreliable from the human perspective because their messages are enigmatic and misleading,...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2008 7:26 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Who are the characters in Canto 3 of Dante's Inferno?

After Virgil and Dante enter through the gate of Hell, Dante is greatly perturbed by a hideous cacophony of screams, moans, and shrill, faint voices. He asks Virgil where these terrifying voices...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2017 10:04 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

Who Are The Souls Tortured In This Canto

The Divine Comedy was written by Italian writer Dante Alighieri in 1320. It is divided into three parts, which are entitled Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Inferno is the depiction of hell....

Latest answer posted September 15, 2017 1:49 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What were some literary devices in Canto VIII of Dante's Inferno?

Dante loves to make the abstract concrete and uses a number of literary devices to do this, including metaphor, simile, imagery, and personification. He also uses allusion and alliteration. In...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2018 11:46 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In Dante's Inferno,gluttony is the third circle of Hell. Do you think the punishment fits the crime? Why or why not.

It may seem a tad unfair to confine gluttons to hell, as Dante does. But one must bear in mind that gluttony was one of the seven deadly sins and as such was a very serious matter indeed during the...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2017 12:03 pm UTC

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Dante's Inferno

What are two literary devices and their lines used in Dante's Inferno Canto 20?

When Dante feels pity for the souls he meets in Canto 20 (their heads have been twisted backwards so that they are forever looking at where they have been, and never at where they are going),...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2019 10:02 am UTC

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Dante's Inferno

In Dante's Inferno, by Dante Alighieri, why is the false counselors' punishment to be encased in a tongue of flame?  

In Dante's Inferno (by Dante Alighieri), Dante is on his life's journey and realizes he has become lost. The Roman poet Virgil comes to the rescue (at the request of Beatrice) to help Dante...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2012 9:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Dante's Inferno

Who is the narrator in Dante's Inferno?

The historical Dante Alighieri (1265—1321) was a Roman poet and the author of a variety of works, including his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy. Dante was a student of Roman literature, and much of...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2020 1:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Dante's Inferno

What are the main ideas in Dante's Inferno?

One of the main claims that Dante makes is that the actions one takes in one's physical life will follow one into the afterlife. For example, in the second circle of Hell, the lustful...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2019 9:45 pm UTC

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