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Divine Comedy Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _____________________________ Period: ___________________________

This quiz 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

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?

Because the realm of Hell in The Inferno is a bureaucratic location where souls are assessed and assigned punishments, sin takes on a quantifiable form. Write an essay about sin as object in the poem. How does sin become the only quantifiable commodity when a soul dies? How is the soul completely assessed based on the quantity of this sin on it? Cite examples from the text to illustrate how souls in Hell are entirely defined by their sins.

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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