|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 1 (of 3) essay 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
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
Dante's poem serves as something of a hodgepodge of allusions. He draws from several different sources. In a three-part essay, discuss these various sources. Cite several examples of individuals who appear in the text. Why are they in Hell? How does the poet-pilgrim of the text react to their presence? Does he interact with them?
Part 1) Classical Greek mythology
Part 2) The Christian Bible
Part 3) Contemporary Italian politics
This section contains 2,204 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)