The Grand Inquisitor Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the subject of Ivan's Literary Preface?

Ivan's Literary Preface is brief history of and comparison of literature that treats religious themes and characters.

2. How are the literary examples in Ivan's preface related?

All the literary examples in Ivan's preface deal with religious figures and themes. They all seek to paint a picture of man questioning his relationship with the Christian image of god.

3. How does Our Lady feel when she sees sinners in the burning lake?

According to Ivan, Our Lady is tormented by the awful spectacle so much that she falls down and begs God for mercy for all those in hell.

4. Why does Ivan repeatedly mention Dante in his preface?

Ivan mentions Dante because Dante wrote about religious figures and religious settings, especially heaven, hell, and purgatory in his Divine Comedy. Dante was a 13-14th century author, and the literary preface deals with Jesus' appearance in literature.

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