Divine Comedy Test | Final 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

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

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The impetus to write a travelogue of Hell is a multifaceted question. Dante Alighieri is clearly enraged by enough issues of his day that he feels the need to send people to Hell. Write an essay in three parts dealing with the catalysts for much of the subject-matter of The Inferno. How has Dante been affected each of these issues? How is this issue represented in the poem? What punishment is doled out to malefactors of each issue?

Part 1) The civil war in Florence.

Part 2) Corruption in the Catholic Church

Part 3) General ascendancy of unscrupulous people.

(see the answer keys)

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