Dante's Inferno Canto 20 Questions and Answers

Dante Alighieri

Canto 20 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Dante mentions the Abyss and the chasm; to what is he referring?

2. What is unusual about the sinners that Dante sees in Canto XX?

3. Amphiaraus tried to look ahead to save his own life; what happens to him when he leaves a battle?

4. What does Tiresias strike with his wand?

5. What happens to Tiresias after he uses his wand the first time in striking these objects?

6. How does Tiresias change himself back after using his wand the first time?

7. What is the crime of the sinners who have their heads turned backwards on their bodies?

8. Who is the daughter of Tiresias?

9. At about what speed do those with their heads twisted on their necks move?

10. On what day of the week do all these events occur?

Answers
1. Dante is referring to Hell when he makes mention of the Abyss and the chasm.

2. The sinners have their heads twisted backwards.

3. When Amphiaraus tries to save his own life by leaving a battle, he is killed by an earthquake.

4. Tiresias strikes his wand upon twin and tangled snakes.

5. Upon using his wand to strike the twin and tangled snakes the first time, Tiresias becomes a woman.

6. Tiresias strikes the twin snakes with his wand again to turn back into a man.

7. Those with their heads turned backwards are guilty of predicting the future.

8. The daughter of Tiresias is Manto.

9. Those with heads twisted on their necks move at a slow pace; their speed is likened to that of the slow walk of a Litany procession.

10. All these events happen on the Saturday before Easter.