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The Inferno by Dante Alighieri - Barron's Booknotes
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CANTO XXIX

Dante lingers on the edge of bowge ix, looking for one of his
relatives, Geri del Bello. Virgil tells Dante to leave him to his
punishment and to put his mind on higher matters. As they
walk, Virgil tells Dante that, while Dante was talking to the
other Sowers of Discord, Geri del Bello passed and made
threatening gestures toward Dante.

The poets come to the last bowge where the Falsifiers are
stricken with diseases and afflictions of all the senses. The
noise causes Dante to cover his ears. Some are lying, hardly
able to move. Two are propped against each other, back to
back, each viciously scratching himself, peeling off flakes of
himself like scales from a fish. When Dante speaks to them,
they identify themselves as Griffilino D'Arezzo and
Capocchio. Although each was also guilty of other sins on
earth, they are placed here because this is the circle were the
most offensive of their sins, alchemy, is punished.



These sinners falsified goods. For that, all their senses and
their bodies are made impure, made sick. Other kinds of
Falsifiers will be mentioned in the next canto, but you should
notice that this is the last sin of the Malbowges. The
Malbowges began with the Panderers and Seducers, those who
sold the sexual relationship, and ends with those who deceive
others in the products they produce. Think of how you feel
when you pay good money for a book or a record, only to find
it's a cheap rip-off. Wouldn't you like to see the people
responsible get kicked down to bowge x?

NOTE: Looking at this circle, we can see a degeneration of
the spirit, which now recognizes no obligation to be honest in
any of its relationships with other men. All the means of
communication-speech, Church, State, even money itself-are
corrupted. Dante makes clear the state of the spirit by
continuing the image of the city, now in its terminal stages of
disease.

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The Inferno by Dante Alighieri - Barron's Booknotes
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