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

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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 canto 7, Virgil and Dante visit the fourth circle of hell, where they encounter the people who were too fixated on money in life: the hoarders and the spendthrifts. Later, they encounter the wrathful—both the actively angry and the sullen—passive aggressors.

The love of money weighs down people's souls. Dante uses vivid imagery to make this abstract concept—of a soul weighed down—concrete. Those who squandered money in an irresponsible way must push large weights away from themselves with their chests, while those who hoarded money must push the weights towards themselves. These two groups bump and bruise each other.

A metaphor is a comparison. Most metaphors make abstract concepts concrete so that a reader can experience them with the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and/or touch. The actions of...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 730 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team