Canto 10 Summary

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Last Updated February 28, 2023.

Virgil and Dante approach the walls of the city. As they do, Virgil recalls an old prophecy from the days of Jehoshaphat regarding the resurrection of the dead. They are greeted by Farinata degli Uberti, with whom Dante engages in a conversation about the long-standing conflict between the Ghibelline and Guelph factions. 

Farinata predicts the duration of Dante's exile and asserts that the deceased possess knowledge of future events. During their exchange, Farinata alludes to the female rulers of the Inner Circles that Dante has yet to meet. 

A different soul, which belonged to Cavalcante of the Guelph party, materializes and inquires about his son, Guido dei Cavalcanti, who was Dante's closest companion and fellow poet. Dante realizes that although spirits can perceive and predict future events, they struggle to perceive the present. During their exchange, Dante unintentionally discloses to Cavalcante that his son has passed away.

After Dante discovers the identity of some of the souls inhabiting the cemetery, another spirit tells him that he will only understand the full meaning of life when he encounters someone—heavily implied to be Beatrice—who possesses the ability to perceive all things.

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Canto 9 Summary


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