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

As Dante and Virgil travel the circles of Hell, the poet clearly established a sort of grand history for the pit as a concrete location. Write an essay chronicling the history of the realm of Hell as related throughout the poem. How was the pit formed, and who were its original inhabitants? Where did the three rivers of Hell originate? What evidence of Christ's harrowing of Hell are visible in the geography of the pit?

Essay Topic 2

The Inferno is in many ways a uniting of past and present. It encompasses the historical, mythical, and biblical, and it unites them with the contemporary. Citing specific examples from all four groups, discuss how Dante Alighieri uses the former three to grant greater weight to contemporary Italian politics. How does he make his own hardships as affecting as those of Achilles and the Christian saints? How does he represent the more recent hardships of Italy?

Essay Topic 3

Most of the figures featured is Dante's poem are being punished in Hell for one sin or another. There are, however, groups that serve functions in Hell; one could almost call them employees of Hell. Write a poem in three parts about these figures of The Inferno:

Part 1) At what point does Dante encounter the Fallen Angels who fought on Satan's side in the Heavenly civil war? What is their job in Hell? How do they interact with Virgil and Dante in their passages of The Inferno? Discuss how Virgil deals with these officiates of the City of Dis.

Part 2) Only some of the circles of Hell actually have demons in them. Discuss which circles these are and what duties the demons must perform within them. What human characteristics do these monsters display? How does Alighieri portray them in the text? What is the cumulative effect of their passages of the poem?

Part 3) Who are the Giants and what is their function concerning the ninth circle of Hell? Discuss why they are imprisoned in Hell, and why only some of them are chained? What service does one of the Giants perform for the pilgrims in the poem?

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