Canto 20 Summary

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Last Updated March 1, 2023.

The pilgrims encounter a field of sinners with their heads twisted backward, so their eyes face their backs; Dante is stunned by the sordid sight of the maimed men before him, crying out compassionately and allowing tears to fall. Virgil, however, condemns his companions' pity and scolds him for his crying; the poet forces Dante to question the morality of those who suffer in this place and implies that they are deserving of their punishment.

In his continued discourse about the history of Mantua, Virgil mentions the names of Amphiaraus and Tiresias. Before departing from the location, Dante and Virgil encounter several individuals including Michael Scot, Asdante, and Guy Bonatti.

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Canto 19 Summary

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Canto 21 Summary