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The Inferno by Dante Alighieri - Barron's Booknotes
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ANSWERS

TEST 1

1. C
2. D
3. C
4. D
5. B

6. Dante arranged his sins according to the severity of the sins.
Sin, for Dante, is a freezing of the will away from God and
grace. The more the sin involved a choice, an appetite, or
intellectual planning, the worse it was, and the farther from
God it was placed.

The description of Hell (in the Setting section of this guide)
and of Dante's quest (in The Characters section) will give
more detailed explanations. The transitions from one type of
sin to another (Cantos VIII, IX, and XVIII) also offer some
explanations.

7. The answers to this question will obviously depend on the
person selected. If the person is guilty of more than one kind
of sin, he would be placed in the circle of his worst sin. Hitler,
for example, was guilty of massive violence but would be
punished far below Phlegethon. Whether he would be a Sower
of Discord or a Traitor would depend on how you interpret his
intentions in Germany.



8. Both historically and figuratively, Virgil makes sense as a
guide. He serves on several of the levels that we have
discussed. For a full review of Virgil's importance to the
Inferno, see the section on Virgil in The Characters section of
this guide. See also the justification of Virgil's "nagging" in
the discussion of Canto IV.

9. Several cantos will work especially well for this question:
III, XVIII, XXI, XXII, XXVIII, and XXXIII. In each of these,
Dante is describing vile sins and their image in the physical
condition of the sinner. Dante means no insult or lack of
seriousness when he uses gross images and obscene
predicaments. He feels that the physical and spiritual worlds
are closely related and uses the sensual images from the
physical world to describe what can't be sensed in the spiritual
world.

10. A pair of pairs that could be used is Francesca-Paolo and
Roger-Ugolino. A discussion of some of the ways Dante
suggests that we do look at them as pairs is contained in this
guide's analysis of Canto XXXII. You have several ways to
compare them.

For instance, the two pairs offer a range of the destruction of
the souls. If Dante's journey is to be a journey through the
potential for evil within the soul, looking at the relationship
between the sinners in each pair provides great contrast.

Also, once you see Roger and Ugolino, your attention is
pointed back at Francesca and Paolo. This might be
interpreted as one of the ways that Dante creates the polar
structure of his poem. Remember that this polar nature was
necessary to show the way through sin to salvation-and to
create the theme of the attainability of the ideal.

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