Canto 9 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. From where did Virgil hope to get help?

2. Who is Erichtho?

3. Why had Virgil been in Hell before?

4. Who are the Furies?

5. Who was the queen whom the three goddesses served?

6. Describe Medusa.

7. What are the tombs like near the City of Dis?

8. How does the heavenly messenger open the gate?

9. Why do you think the heavenly messenger spent so little time with Dante and Virgil?

10. Who are the heretics?

Answers
1. Virgil hopes to get help from Heaven.

2. Erichtho is a witch.

3. Virgil had been in Hell previously to fetch a spirit from Judas’s circle.

4. The Furies are three goddesses who haunt those who commit certain crimes.

5. The queen is Medusa.

6. Medusa is a queen with serpents for hair; she could turn people to stone if they looked on her.

7. The slabs on the graves have been pushed aside; the fire and souls within can be seen and heard.

8. The heavenly messenger waves a wand over the gate and it opens.

9. The heavenly messenger does not spend much time with Dante and Virgil because he had other duties and because he dislikes Hell.

10. The heretics are those who lie within the open graves and who in life had trusted their reason rather than the Church.

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