|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Write an essay for ONE of the following 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
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.
Essay Topic 3
The Inferno is in many ways a uniting of past and present. It encompasses the historical, mythical, and biblical, and it unites them with the contemporary. Citing specific examples from all four groups, discuss how Dante Alighieri uses the former three to grant greater weight to contemporary Italian politics. How does he make his own hardships as affecting as those of Achilles and the Christian saints? How does he represent the more recent hardships of Italy?
This section contains 328 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)