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

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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