|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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?
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
The souls of The Inferno are compellingly human in that, since they have no hope of salvation, they are obsessed with the state of the living world. Write an essay discussing the dead's attitude toward the living. Why are souls constantly begging Dante to listen to their stories? What power does he have as an emissary from the living? How is the perception of the dead stilted regarding the present? Why must they rely on Dante to learn of the present state of things?
This section contains 368 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)