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

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

The impetus to write a travelogue of Hell is a multifaceted question. Dante Alighieri is clearly enraged by enough issues of his day that he feels the need to send people to Hell. Write an essay in three parts dealing with the catalysts for much of the subject-matter of The Inferno. How has Dante been affected each of these issues? How is this issue represented in the poem? What punishment is doled out to malefactors of each issue?

Part 1) The civil war in Florence.

Part 2) Corruption in the Catholic Church

Part 3) General ascendancy of unscrupulous people.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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