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The Inferno by Dante Alighieri - Barron's Booknotes
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1. B
2. D
3. B
4. A
5. C

6. Fairly consistently in the Inferno, the punishment for a sin
was simply the continuation of the sin. The soul was caught in
this changeless society, getting exactly what he had chosen.
The symbolic retribution is this constant and eternal reminder
of this choice. The discussion of the Suicides (Canto XIII) and
the Thieves (Canto XXV) might give you some ideas. The
images of the Flatterers (Canto XVIII) and the Sowers of
Discord (Canto XXVIII) might also give you some ideas.

7. An obvious place to start would be the definition of
allegory in the Symbolism and Allegory section of this guide.
To set up this symbolic level of meaning, Dante does many
things. Some to consider include:

• He uses himself as a character to show the growth in

• The image of Hell is the metaphoric pit. Hell is not only
Hell, but the image of evil possible within the soul.

Virgil is more than a literal guide.

8. Dante's literal quest would be over, but he would fall on the
moral and allegorical levels. Dante would not be using reason,
devout labor, or divine assistance to reach his goals. Even
though he would literally be through Hell, he wouldn't have
gained any understanding, enlightenment, etc. Knowing that
Dante-the-author's major theme is the accessibility of Heaven
through the quest, he must keep his character on the road.

9. Certainly Dante would not have approved. He might even
have created specific punishments as he did for the Sodomites
and the Usurers. The basis for his objection would be that
these things defile the natural order of God. In Dante's view,
the order and stability of his universe depended on each
person and each thing doing what he or she was intended. You
might then discuss the question of whether we better maintain
order and justice with or without birth control and other such
"inhibitors" of natural processes, thus interpreting Dante's
theme in modern terms.

10. There are several ways of approaching this question:

• Universality: Everyone is included and it is not possible to
be excluded from the eternal spiritual life.

• The inclusion shows the range and grandeur and order of
God's creation. By including so much, he indicates the extent
and power of God.

• The extent of the "cast" shows the range of possible
choices in the free will granted in the universe. Each
individual serves as the image of a particular choice.

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The Inferno by Dante Alighieri - Barron's Booknotes

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