Divine Comedy Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the beginning of the novel, Dante is lost in a dark wood and he must contend with three wild beasts. These beasts represent three types of sin one faces in life. Write an essay about each of these animals and the type of sin each represents. How are the characteristics of each animal indicative of the manner of the sin? What circles of Hell punish each type of sin? Which is the most egregious type of sin, and why?

Part 1) The She-Wolf.

Part 2) The Leopard.

Part 3) The Lion.

Essay Topic 2

The souls of The Inferno are compellingly human in that, since they have no hope of salvation, they are obsessed with the state of the living world. Write an essay discussing the dead's attitude toward the living. Why are souls constantly begging Dante to listen to their stories? What power does he have as an emissary from the living? How is the perception of the dead stilted regarding the present? Why must they rely on Dante to learn of the present state of things?

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?

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