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The Inferno

Short Answer Quiz

  1. Why was the Pilgrim chosen to go on the journey through the Inferno?  Why was Virgil rather than Beatrice his guide?

  1. What does putting good but non-Christian souls in the first circle mean? Explain why you think that was Dante's personal philosophy or the Church's philosophy?

  1. Why are gluttony, slothfulness, and soothsaying (characteristics we ordinarily think of as bad manners) considered sins so serious that they are horribly punished for eternity?

  1. Describe three theological concepts that you can infer from The Inferno.

  1. In the lower circles of the Inferno the sins are more harshly punished. The damned have committed crimes that (a) reduce their humanity and/or (b) adversely affect a large number of other people. Pick an example from each category and describe: (1) the crime, (2) who was affected by it and to what degree, and (3) the punishment.

  1. Why did Dante place some Popes, the spiritual leaders of the Church, in the Third Bolgia of the Inferno?

  1. In Canto XXX, the Jovial Friars, Catalano and Loderingo, are being punished. What exactly did they do and why is their sin so serious that it merits such harsh punishment?

  1. In addition to real historical and contemporary figures, Dante placed fictional characters in the Inferno. What do you think is the purpose of including fictional characters?

  1. The Lake of Ice is the lowest level of the Inferno. What sins are punished there? How are they punished? Explain why their sin is so serious that it merits the worst punishment.

  1. What did the Pilgrim learn from his experience by the time he returned to the natural world?

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