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Canto X Notes from The Inferno

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The Inferno Canto X

As Dante and Virgil walk along side the fiery tombs, Dante inquires as to whether the spirits within the boxes can be seen. Virgil responds to the affirmative and says that tombs near them contain the souls of the Epicurean heretics, whose irreligious philosophy held that the highest form of happiness was absence of pain. While Virgil speaks the very person Dante was thinking of rises out of a nearby tomb, Farinata, the father-in-law of one of Dante's dearest friends, Guido Cavalcanti. Farinata belonged to the Ghibelline party, the historical political rival of the Guelf party, which Dante and Guido were born into. The soul of Guido's father, Cavalcante de' Cavalcanti, rises out of a nearby tomb and asks if his son is with Dante, when Dante pauses he assumes his son is dead and collapses back into his grave. Farinata prophesies Dante's exile from Florence and explains that the spirits in Hell have no knowledge of the present state of things on earth, but can see the future and the past. "Like someone who has imperfect vision, we see things, which are remote from us; so much light the Supreme Ruler still gives to us; when they draw nigh, or are, our intellect is altogether void; and except what others bring us, we know nothing of your human state." Canto X, pg. 56 Dante tells Farinata to assure Cavalcante that his son is still alive and parts with Virgil. He is bewildered by Farinata's prophesy and Virgil tells him that he shall hear the whole of his life's path from Beatrice.

Topic Tracking: Human Reason 5

Topic Tracking: Politics 3

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