|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 1 (of 3) 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
In The Inferno, Dante clearly divides the sins which are punished into two groups, divided by a great wall. The division exists as a division in both intention and objective, and one group is clearly more appalling to God than the other. Discuss this division in a two-part essay:
Part 1) What sins are punished in the circles outside the City of Dis? What do these types of sins have in common? Discuss why these sins are less egregious than the ones that are punished inside the walls of Dis. To what extent does this entail a divine justice that understands, at least in part, the temptations of human nature?
Part 2) What do all the sins that exist inside the City of Dis and below have in common? How are they all unnatural in their intention and in the actions necessary to commit them? Is there any inherent pleasure to them? In discussing this, discuss how Dante's attitude toward the sinners around him changes.
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 329 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)