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

Write an essay on the portrayal of humanity as a whole, as delineated by the events of The Inferno. Given that nearly everyone in the text is a sinner, what does Alighieri indicate is the root of iniquity in life? What specific sources of sin does he point out over the course of the journey? As Dante and Virgil exit Hell, Virgil discusses mankind's inclinations regarding Satan. What are these inclinations? How does this passage counter the view of humanity painted by the cantos that came before?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the significance of Dante's relationship with Virgil in The Inferno. How does using the classic poet as a guide create a link between Alighieri and Italy's past? What significance does Virgil have to Renaissance-era Florence? In terms of narrative, how is Virgil integral both to exposition and to the character of Dante's development as a protagonist? What does he explain to the reader? How is he a catalyst for growth in Dante?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the time-line of The Inferno, which clearly spans three days and presumably begins on Good Friday, the anniversary Christ's death and descent to Hell. What do you think is Dante Alighieri's goal in coordinating his own harrowing of Hell with that of Jesus? What other references to Christ's descent to Hell are mentioned in the text? What occurs when Dante emerges from the pit, and how does this mirror Christ's emergence from his tomb?

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