Canto 19 Questions and Answers

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Last Updated on June 1, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 230

Study Questions
1. How does Dante know that Virgil approves of what he says?

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2. Who is Simon Magus?

3. Why does Dante break up an area made for the priests to stand in to perform baptisms?

4. What is the punishment of the Simoniacs?

5. What is the punishment of the priests?

6. Who is the priest with whom Dante speaks?

7. For whom does Nicholas III mistake Dante?

8. Who is the “Fairest among Women” that the priests had used poorly?

9. Why does Nicholas III not realize that Dante is not Pope Boniface VIII?

10. Who is the disciple who replaces Judas?

Answers
1. Dante knows that Virgil approves of his words because 1) he smiles when Dante speaks and 2) he clasps him to his breast when Dante finishes speaking.

2. Simon Magus had sold holy items for profit.

3. When a child becomes caught in the area made for priests to stand in, Dante breaks up the area.

4. The Simoniacs are head-down in the holes with fire burning their feet.

5. The priests are placed on top of each other in the same hole.

6. The priest with whom Dante speaks is Nicholas III.

7. Nicholas III mistakes Dante for Pope Boniface VIII.

8. The woman whom the priests had used poorly is the Church.

9. Nicholas III does not recognize that Dante is not Pope Boniface VIII because Pope Nicholas’s head is buried in the hole.

10. The disciple who replaces Judas is Matthias.

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