Dante's Inferno Canto 5 Questions and Answers

Dante Alighieri

Canto 5 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Francesca’s heart still hurt and ache?

2. How does Dante react to Francesca’s tale?

3. What does Francesca say is the greatest sadness in this place?

4. What is the punishment in this Second Circle?

5. What caused Francesca to commit the sin of lust with Paolo?

6. How did Francesca die?

7. Why does Dante not tell the reader of the trip from Circle One to Circle Two and from Circle Two to Circle Three?

8. What does Minos do?

9. In Canto III and in Canto V Dante refers to will and power being one. Where is this place where will and power are one?

10. What does it mean when Dante says that he is grieved by the way in which the murder of Francesca and Paolo came about?

Answers
1. Francesca’s husband murdered her without her having a chance to repent; she will be punished eternally. She will continue to remember the love.

2. Dante cries and swoons with pity at Francesca’s tale.

3. The greatest sadness is to remember the happy times.

4. The punishment in the Second Circle is to drift in the wind and to continue to remember the sin; there is no peace or redemption.

5. Francesca and Paolo were reading of Sir Lancelot and Guinevere when they, too, yielded to sin.

6. Francesca and Paolo were murdered by Francesca’s husband Gianciotto da Verruchio when he found them.

7. Dante swoons when he makes the trip from Circle One to Circle Two and when he makes the trip from Circle Two to Circle Three.

8. Minos admits people to Hell. He listens to their confessions and then assigns a place in Hell to them.

9. Will and power are one in Heaven.

10. The “way in which it all came about” is a quotation from The Inferno which may refer to the way in which Gianciotto da Verruchio killed Paolo and Francesca. It may also be a reference to the fact that they were killed without a chance to confess their sins and seek forgiveness.