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

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?

Essay Topic 2

Hell is clearly a hierarchical system in The Inferno. The different strati of the pit indicate an economy of sin in which some sins are worse than others, and one is condemned for the worst sin one committed. Discuss in an essay why the sins are arranged in the order they are, from being unbaptized to betraying one's master. Are there any placements with which you disagree? Why are the sins of pleasure placed higher than those of ambition?

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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