|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What city does Dante condemn in Canto 33?
2. With what is the fifth chasm filled?
3. Which character interrogates the Navarroan soul in Canto 22?
4. To which Trojan character does Dante compare the rabid soul that rushes past him in the beginning of Canto 30?
5. In what form are Cianfra and Francesco de' Cavalcanti presented in Canto 25?
Essay Topic 1
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 2
Dante Alighieri is clearly a Catholic poet, and so his epic poem does not necessarily reflect a worldview in which there are many paths to Heaven. Write an essay on the distinctly Catholic roots of The Inferno, focusing on three aspects of the poem:
Part 1) Who is punished in the first circle of Hell, Limbo? How does this reflect the notion that even a virtuous life is not sufficient to ensure salvation? What has kept the souls in this circle from entering Heaven or even Purgatory? Did they ever, in fact, have the chance of achieving salvation in Dante's divinity?
Part 2) Discuss the circle in which those guilty of committing violence against God are punished. How does the population of this circle reflect a moral code informed exclusively by the Christian religious texts? Who is punished there that today would be considered wholly innocent in a secular humanist view?
Part 3) Discuss parts of The Inferno in which Dante is distinctly critical of the Catholic Church. What is his attitude toward the hierarchy of Rome? What specific grievances does the pilgrim Dante cite in his journey through Hell?
Essay Topic 3
Write an essay on the portrayal of humanity as a whole, as delineated by the events of The Inferno. Given that nearly everyone in the text is a sinner, what does Alighieri indicate is the root of iniquity in life? What specific sources of sin does he point out over the course of the journey? As Dante and Virgil exit Hell, Virgil discusses mankind's inclinations regarding Satan. What are these inclinations? How does this passage counter the view of humanity painted by the cantos that came before?
This section contains 2,278 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)