Canto 28 Summary

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Last Updated March 1, 2023.

Dante is horrified by the agony he witnesses while standing on the Ninth Bolgia's bridge. He attempts to describe the intensity of the suffering but falters, resorting to analogies of battles, deaths, and injuries that readers might be familiar with.

The travelers observe the sowers of discord, watching as demons exact punishment upon them by slicing their bodies in half with sharp swords; these sinners' bodies are grotesquely maimed, capable of splitting  in half at will. 

Mahomet, the founder of the Islamic faith, speaks to the two poets. He informs them that Ali—another paragon of the Islamic faith—resides in the pit ahead of him. As they converse, he mentions specific locations, such as the plains between Vercelli and Marcabo and the passage near La Cattolica, as well as individuals like Guido and Angiolello of Fano. Mahomet also directs the poets' attention to Curio, another sufferer, who is now without a tongue.

Dante witnesses a remarkable, horrifying sight: a body stands tall, holding its decapitated head by the hair. As the mutilated figure approaches the poets, it places its head on its shoulders in an homage to normal conversation and introduces itself as Bertrand de Born, a revolutionary French poet.

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