dante 18-25 - Miller Redwood English

The Divine Comedy
Lesson 7
Handout 11 (page 1)
Another Look at Fraud
Directions: As you discuss these questions with your class, record responses.
1. In circle 8, who are punished? Why? How?
2. Who are the simoniacs? How are they punished?
3. Which pope does Dante first meet here? Why does he deserve this punishment?
4. For whom is the first pope looking? Why?
5. Who does this first pope prophesy will be the third for this place?
6. To what historical event does Dante attribute the beginning of corruption in the Church?
7. Describe the punishment of fortune tellers, as described in Canto 20. What famous Greek seer does
Dante meet at this point?
8. Why does Virgil again scold Dante for showing pity?
9. Why is sticky pitch an appropriate punishment for grafters?
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LITERAL LEVEL—What happens?
What Dante does? What Virgil does?
Virgil = human reason Dante = man
What do we learn about man and reason
from their actions? What do the actions
What is the religious philosophy of the
time? What are the religious messages and
lessons presented? Symbols important to
the spiritual level.
1. "Malbowges (Malbolgial is, I think, after a rather special manner, the
image of the City in corruption: the progressive disintegration of
■,„rw" every social relationship, personal and public. Sexuality, ecclesiastical and civil office, language, ownership, counsel, authority, psychic influence, and material interdependence—all the media of the
1%. community's exchange are perverted and falsified, till nothing remains but the descent into the final abyss where faith and trust are
wholly and for ever extinguished." 8
"Simony is the sin of trafficking in holy things, e.g., the sale of
sacraments or ecclesiastical offices. The sinners who thus made
money for themselves out of what belongs to God are 'pouched' in
fiery pockets in the rock, head downwards because they reversed the
proper order of things and subordinated the heavenly to the earthly.
The image here is ecclesiastical: we need not, however, suppose that,
allegorically, the traffic in holy things is confined to medieval people
or even to modern clergymen. A mercenary marriage, for example, is
also the sale of a sacrament. " 9
Image of fortune tellers. "There is an image of the twisted nature of
all magical art, which is a deformation of knowledge, and especially
of psychic powers, to an end outside the unity of the creation in God.
iouqb It is in especial the misuse of knowledge so as to dominate environment (including not only material things but the personalities of
others) for the benefit of the ego. Magic to-day takes many forms,
ranging from actual Satanism to attempts at 'conditioning' other
people by manipulating their psyches; but even when it uses the
legitimate techniques of the scientist or the psychiatrist, it is
distinguished from true science by the 'twisted sight', which looks to
self instead of to God for the source and direction of its power."m