Inferno & King Lear

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  1. 3 beasts
    • Leopard, Lion, She-Wolf
    • Represent deception (mostly of ourselves), violence/vanity, and desire (in all forms.)
    • These are the 3 conditions that keep us from following the path of light.
  2. "(the thought of it brings back all my old fears),"
    Spoken by Dante the Pilgrim, suggests that he is reflecting. This means he has made it through, gives a glimpse of hope.
  3. "But if I would show the good that came of it
    I must talk about things other than the good."
    Spoken by Dante the Pilgrim. Meansthat in order to uncover the truth, we must go into dark places (like Oedipus) in order to recognize and overcome them.
  4. "But you must journey down another road,' he answered, when he saw me lost in tears, 'if you ever hope to leave this wilderness;'"
    Spoken by Virgil, assuring Dante that he must avoid the conditions that lead us from the source of illumination.
  5. "But why am I to go? Who allows me to? I am not Aeneas, I am not Paul, neither I nor any man would think me worthy;"
    Spoken by Dante the Pilgrim, he feels unfit to take the journey through Hell following in the footsteps of people like Aeneas and Paul.
  6. "If I have understood your words,' that shade of magnanimity replied, 'your soul is burdened with cowardice which often weighs so heavily on man, it turns him from a noble enterprise like a frightened beast that shies at its own shadow."
    Spoken by Virgil, to Dante's comment of being unfit to take his journey. He claims that Dante is not "unworthy," he is simply afraid to journey into the depths of himself in order to rise above it.
  7. "Abandon every hope, all you who enter."
    The last line of the inscription above the gate to Hell itself. When you act, when you make a decision to lapse morally, you can never escape the consequences. Once you make a decision that changes you, you can never go back to being the person you were before that.
  8. "This wretched state of being is the fate of those sad souls who lived a life but lived it with no blame and with no praise. They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels neither faithful nor unfaithful to their God, who undecided stood but for themselves."
    Spoken by Virgil to Dante when describing the souls encountered in the first level of Hell. These people represent apathy- they were neither good nor bad, they were unwilling to declare and fight for a value. We must be decisive enough to take the first step in the journey to becoming ourselves. Dante must first banish his indecisiveness before continuing on this journey.
  9. "The world will not record their having been there;"
    Spoken by Virgil. The apathetic souls will not have made an impact on the world because it is only through decisive action that the world recognizes that we've been there.
  10. "and when I raised my eyes a little higher I saw the master sage of those who know, sitting with his philosophic family."
    Dante is describing his encounter with the great thinkers in the castle. Chronologically, the "master sage" should be Socrates, but in Dante's eyes Aristotle is more important.
  11. Minos
    The beastial judge of the underworld, Minos sits at the entry of the Second Circle of Hell. How many times his tail wraps around himself determines the Circle each soul will be sent to. If we create Hell for ourselves, it is our conscience that damns us.
  12. "I learned that to this place of punishment all those who sin in lust have been condemned, those who make reason slave to appetite;"
    Dante realizes that the people in the Second Circle are the lustful - the ones that give in to appetite before being reasonable. Their punishment is a metaphoric representation of their lives: the winds of desire.
  13. Cerberus
    Three-headed dog that guards the gluttons. He represents what it is to constantly want and consume desires.
  14. Plutus
    The god of wealth, he presides over the Fourth Circle, in which the Prodigal and the Miserly clash weights yelling "why hoard?" and "why waste?" respectively.
  15. "O foolish race of man, how overwhelming is your ignorance! Now listen while I tell you what she menas: that One, whose wisdom knows infinity, made all the heavens and gave each one a guide, and each sphere shining shines on all the others, so light is spread with equal distribution: for worldly splendors He decreed the same and ordained a guide & general ministress who would at her discretion shift the world's vain wealth from nation to nation, house to house, with no chance of interference from mankind;"
    Virgil is explaining to Dante the equal distribution of light. Each heaven is a solar system that reflects each other's light, worldly splendors were distributed equally, wealth is vain because it is fleeting, it only exists as long as we are mortal.
  16. City of Dis
    Halfway point in Hell. If Dante's personal Hell is about searching himself, the City of Dis represents self-doubt, where he thinks twice about decision partially consisting of doubt, cowardice, and fear. On the other side of Dis are crimes of malice, as opposed to the crimes of passion on the first side.
  17. Medusa
    Mythical creature whose look can turn souls into stone. She represents the point of no return- once we experience certain parts of our humanity, our hearts can turn to stone. We encounter that from which we can never return.
  18. Shades can see the future, yet not the present.
    When we come to a crossroads of choices, we only think of the present. We do not recognize the future rammifications. We see the future until it becomes the present, when it gets fuzzy.
  19. Hell is divided by:
    Sins of Incontinence (unable to control mortality) & Malice (intentionally harming others). Malice is divided into Violence and Fraud.
  20. Minotaur
    Guards the Seventh Circle- half bull, half man creation when King Minos's wife had intercourse with a bull. His own beastial rage sends him into such a fit that Virgil and Dante are able to run beyond him into the 7th Circle.
  21. "The moment that the violent soul departs the body it has torn itself away from, Minos sends it down to the seventh hole; it drops to the wood, not in a place allotted, but anywhere that fortune tosses it."
    Spoken by Piere Delle Vigne when describing to Dante how the souls of the suicides are punished. Ironically, their roles are reversed as they are the only living things (trees) that grow in the Inferno.
  22. Capaneus
    Zeus told him he's be on the verge of taking a great city, but he would faill. He was a general on his way to attack Thebes but his downfall was that he looked up at Zeus to spite him. His hubris was the reason the prophecy came true.
  23. "What I was once, alive, I still am, dead!"
    Spoken by Capaneus. He does not regret the way he acted or its consequences. In a way, it is admirable because Zeus wanted to limit him, yet he faught against it.
  24. "O Capaneus, since your blustering pride will not be stilled, you are made to suffer more: no torment other than your rage itself could punish your gnawing pride more perfectly."
    This is Virgil's response to Capaneus's pride in his actions. To him, anger is NOW and is the ultimate of punishments.
  25. Geryon
    The beast that rises up from the waterfall at the top of the Eighth Circle. He has the face of an honest man, yet his body ends in a venomous, scorpionlike stinger. He is a represenation of fraud.
  26. The Eight Circle of Hell.
    Made up of 10 stone ravines called Malebolge (Evil Pockets) and across each bolgia is an arching bridge.
  27. "I would use even harsher words than these, for your avarice brings grief upon the world, crushing the good, exalting the depraved."
    Dante's response to the sinners of Simony - the selling of sacraments.
Card Set
Inferno & King Lear
Honors World Lit I Part II
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