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, 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?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

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