Canto XXXII Notes from The Inferno

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The Inferno Canto XXXII

Dante asks for the help of the Muses, who aided Amphion in playing the lyre so sweetly that he charmed the stones that formed themselves together to form the walls of the city of Thebes, in describing rightly the horrors of the final circle of Hell. Dante finds himself walking on a deep bed of ice in which souls are imprisoned up to the cheeks, teeth chattering. This is Caina, the first round of the ninth circle, named after Adam's son Cain who killed his own brother Abel. It holds those who have done violence against their own family members. Two enraged souls butt fruitlessly against each other, and another identifies them as Alessandro and Napoleone, brothers who quarreled over their inheritance and ended up killing each other. He himself is Camicion de' Pazzi, also guilty of killing a family member. He lists others frozen for the same crimes: Mordred, Focaccia, and Sassol Mascheroni. Dante continues on to Antenora, the second round of the ninth circle, named after Antenor who was suspected of betraying the city of Troy to the Greeks. Here those who betrayed their country are imprisoned. He accidentally trips upon one protruding head, which cries out asking why Dante molests him. Dante suspecting he knows this particular traitor demands to know his identity, and when the soul refuses he grabs him by the scalp and begins pulling out his hair. His protestations attract the attention of another frozen spirit who names the other Bocca, a Ghibelline by blood who when fighting in a key battle for the Guelfs betrayed them. At which point Dante releases him disgusted. Bocca proceeds with spite to identify all his neighbors. The one who named him is Buoso da Duera, who betrayed the leader of Parma to the French invaders. Beccheria, Gianni de' Soldanier, Ganelone, and Tribaldello, all Dante's countrymen, are buried in the encircling ice. Dante proceeds and discovers two souls frozen so close that one gnaws the neck of the other. He asks them who they are, luring them with a promise to vindicate them in the world above.

Topic Tracking: Politics 9

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