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Canto 13 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Harpies: Voracious creatures with bodies of birds and heads of women

Bleeding Trees: Trees containing the souls of suicide victims

“Two that ran”: A reference to Lano of Siena (who sold his estates with other young men in a club and who wasted his money and life) and to Jacomo di Sant Andrea (who burned his own home for fun)

Pier delle Vigne: Accused of plotting against Fredrick II; took own life after being blinded and imprisoned; deemed guilty of only suicide—not betrayal—by Dante since in upper level

Dante and Virgil find themselves in a dark forest which is not green but dark. In this forest are Harpies—creatures with the bodies of birds and the heads of women. Dante finds that the trees contain the spirits of those who were suicide victims. He listens to their stories of being imprisoned in the trees and of feeling pain when the leaves are plucked or the limbs broken. Dante recognizes some of these spirits; the one who held the key to Fredrick’s heart tells Dante his sorrowful story, which is interrupted by the two hounded spirits “Two that...

(The entire section is 388 words.)