Dante's Inferno Summary

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Canto I
-The Dark Wood-Dantes meets the Lion, Wolf, and leopard that blocks his path to leave. Meets Virgil

Canto II
-Ante-Inferno-those who live without disgrace or praise (stuck constantly chasing after a banner (goal) for they never had a goal when they were alive. Passes Acheron, guarded by Limbo to enter Limbo. Ghosts do not feel compassion for those in other levels of hell except for their own.

Canto III and IV
-First circle of hell-limbo-virtuous but un baptized -punishment=no hope and ever longing for god
-poets/philosophers/etc
-Homer, Socrates, (live in a castle that has light because Dante put poets in high regard)

Canto V
-Minos is a monster that judges which level of hell a sinner goes. Coils his tail as many times as the level of hell that he want the sinner to go to. -Second level of hell: Lustful/Carnal sinners: blown around by a violent, never ending storm.

-includes those whole killed themselves for love
-cleopatra, Paris, Achilles, Helen, Francesca de Polanto- slept with brother in law and later killed by husband.

Canto VI
-Gluttonous are punished-when they are alive the do nothing but indulge in food and drinks and produces nothing but wastes so they are punished to be in filth for eternity. (rained on, stand in worms and garbage, barked at by Cereberus.

-Ciacco-first prophecy given to Dante
-Before entering into 4th circle of hell Dante and Virgil meets Plutus- “pape satan, pape satan, aleppe” (classical god of wealth) a mythological creature who oversees the punishments of the 4th level of hell

Canto VII
-4th circle of hell-punishes the avarice (miserliness) and prodigiality (wastefulness)-encumbered by dead weights and forced to participate in a parody of an earthy dance. -forced to push stones against one another, each saying that the other is wrong in the way they manage money. Fitting for their crime because they are both bad but on opposite ends of the spectrum. For their imbalance they must forever work against each other to even each other out

-popes and cardinals-avarice in excess- since they did nothing in their lives but cared about money they are considered anonymous (reason why Dante couldn’t recognize any of them.)
-Last judgement
-prodigal=heads shaved bald
-avaricious=outstretched hands closed forever
-Styx- appears to be a boiling spring but is a filthy marsh (before-sins of the she-wolf/incontinence are punished, after sytx= sins of lion and leopard, violence/fraud are punished) -5th circle of hell- sin of wrathful and sullen-bank of the river styx and constantly fighting the mud. Fitting because they could not manage their anger in life. Sullen are submerged in black tar river, forever choking. Fitting because they never enjoyed their freedoms so now they are forever stuck in the river

Canto VIII
-reaches the foot of the tower of the city of Dis
-Phlegyas: guardian of the wrathful
-Phillipo Argenti- torn to pieces when reached for boat
-rebel angels- guards at the gates of the City of Dis and closed the gates to Virgil and Dante who both expressed wrath in this part of hell. Divine messenger sent by god will open the gates to the City of Dis for Virgil and Dante

Canto IX
-meets the furies and medusa (turns men to stone)
-Finally enters the city of Dis-punishment of the Heretics=locked in burning tombs. Fitting because fire (symbol of god’s love consumes them in torture for in life they went against god, so now they cannot escape his love. There also can only see distant events, not the present)

Canto X
-6th circle of hell- Heresy- punishment is a stench rising from the abyss -inhabitants are those who believe that the soul dies with the body (Pope Anastius) -Farinata predicts that Dante will be exiled

-Malebolge- simple fraud is punished- no special trusting relationship to the defrauder -sins of malice -committed by a sinner who willfully do harm or injury to others. - Three rounds- to god, ourselves or to neighbors...
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