Divine Comedy Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How are the rounds of the eighth circle divided?

2. What does the inscription on the gates of Hell in Canto 3 tell souls to abandon before they enter?

3. In Canto 3, what is buffeting the sinners of the second circle of Hell?

4. What shields Dante and Virgil from the falling fire in Canto 15?

5. According to Farinata in Canto 10, what do the dead have difficulty seeing?

Short Essay Questions

1. What horrific moment does Dante witness at the end of Canto 13?

2. Who is Capaneus, and what is he doing in Canto 14?

3. How are the panders and seducers of Canto 18 punished?

4. How does Dante proceed to the eighth circle at the end of Canto 17?

5. Describe the conversation the souls have with Dante in Canto 16?

6. What does Dante notice about the usurers in Canto 17?

7. What are the trees in Canto 13?

8. What does Farinata reveal about Dante and the visions of damned souls in Canto 10?

9. Who is the unnamed soul who talks with Virgil in Canto 22?

10. Why was Guido not released from Hell after death?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Dante's Inferno has a sly humor in the way punishments hold a poetic appropriateness to the sin they punish. In an essay, choose three circles of Hell from the text and discuss this poetic justice. What sin is punished in this circle, and how is it punished? Does this punishment involve a hyperbolic extremity of the sin, an intense converse state to the sin, or some poetic metaphor for it? How do the damned exist in this state of perpetual punishment?

Essay Topic 2

Dante, at the beginning of the poem, is a soul lost in a dark wood having lost the straight path. Write an essay discussing the plot of the poem as an allegory for the poet's search for grace while lost in darkness. How is a journey through the degradation necessary for this salvation? What textual precedent, in literature and in myth, is there for a hero's journey through darkness into rebirth? What is waiting for Dante on the other side of the darkness?

Essay Topic 3

In The Inferno, Dante clearly divides the sins which are punished into two groups, divided by a great wall. The division exists as a division in both intention and objective, and one group is clearly more appalling to God than the other. Discuss this division in a two-part essay:

Part 1) What sins are punished in the circles outside the City of Dis? What do these types of sins have in common? Discuss why these sins are less egregious than the ones that are punished inside the walls of Dis. To what extent does this entail a divine justice that understands, at least in part, the temptations of human nature?

Part 2) What do all the sins that exist inside the City of Dis and below have in common? How are they all unnatural in their intention and in the actions necessary to commit them? Is there any inherent pleasure to them? In discussing this, discuss how Dante's attitude toward the sinners around him changes.

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