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Canto XI Notes from The Inferno

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The Inferno Canto XI

After crossing the sixth circle the poets come to cliff, which marks the entrance to the circles below. A great monument declares that within the circle below is held a heretical Pope. They wait there a few moments to accustom themselves to the stench that rises from below. Virgil explains which types of sinners are punished in the three rings below. The first circle is reserved for the violent and divided into three rounds: violence toward God, towards one's self, and towards one's neighbor. The second circle nests hypocrisy, flattery, sorcerers, cheating, theft, simony, and pandering. The third and last circle of the City of Dis holds traitors. Dante questions why the carnal, gluttonous, avaricious, prodigal, wrathful, and gloomy are not punished here, and Virgil explains that these sins less offend God than violence and malice because they are an indulgence of what is naturally enjoyable. The man who does natural things in excess is more Godly than he who acts in an unnatural way. At the dawning of their second day in Hell, the Poets descend into the Seventh Circle.

Topic Tracking: Human Reason 6

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