Dante's Inferno Study Guide

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Dante’s Inferno
A. Dante Alighieri
1. 1265-1321 Florence, Italy
2. Beatrice; become in love with her at age 9
a. At 18, they met again. They get into a fight and she dies 3. believes church and state should remain separate
4. Not allowed back in Florence
B. Background information
-Written 1308-1321
-100 Cantos (chapters)
a. 1 intro canto
b. 33 inferno cantos: Sin is around, focuses on the power of God c. 33 purgatorio cantos: Wisdom of Christ; reject sin and wait d. 33 paradiso cantos: Salvation, holy spirit
-3 is big number, holy trinity
a. Guided by three ladies (Mary; Jesus’ mother, St. Lucia; patron saint of Dante, & Beatrice; leads him to paradiso) C. 9 Levels of the Inferno
1. Level A; Opportunism
a. Inconsistent people
b. Punishment; they are stabbed by bees and wasps while chasing flags. Maggots under their feet c. Acheron river
2. Level 1; Limbo
a. Paganism, incontinence
b. People who died before Christ was born or before Christianity. i. Plato, Socrates, Virgil
c. Punishment; They never meet God. There is some light
3. Level 2; Lust
a. Wanting something and going for it
b. Achilles, Lancelot and Guinevere, Helen and Paris, Tristan, Cleopatra c. Punishment is not being able to control their body. They are trapped in a whirlwind d. Minos is at this level.
i. Minos wraps his tail around his body a certain amount of times. The number of times is what level you are headed to 4. Level 3; Gluttony
a. People who didn’t use God’s gifts. They lived for eating and drinking, nothing else. b. Punishment; they live in their filth forever. Also it is cold and raining and the three headed dog, Cerberus, is chewing at their flesh 5. Level 4; Avarice (hoarders) and Prodigality

a. People who were hoarders
b. Punishment; they spend eternity playing tug-of-war over a large boulder that they want. 6. Level 5; Anger
a. Angry people
b. The river Styx is muddy
c. Punishment; these people are always fighting
7. Level 6; Heresy
a. People who...
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