Monthly Archives: January 2016

Canto 13: Life is Worth Living

By Fr. Christopher Seiler Leaving behind the sanguine River Phlegethon, Dante and his master arrive in a dark and twisted wood. In this second round of the Lion’s lair, Dante’s eyes are unable to immediately perceive the inhabitants of this

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Canto 12: How Human Are You?

By Nicholas Dube Virgil and Dante, having acclimated themselves to the vile stench emanating from below, press onward down a rocky cliffside. Here they encounter the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster of Crete, who was infamous for his annual murder and

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Canto 11: Vice leads to Deeper Vice

By Sebastian Mahfood We begin Canto XI by stepping onto the ledge of a pit and being assailed by a stench powerful enough to make us pause to accustom ourselves to it. We are standing behind the tomb of Pope

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Canto 10: The Problem with Nearsightedness

By Belinda Brasley In Canto 10, Dante and Virgil enter the sixth circle, which contains the heretics. According to the medieval way of thinking, a heretic was one who chose their own opinion over against the judgement of the Church.

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Canto 9: Going Past the Superficial and the Partial

By Bill Cook The 9th canto of the Inferno is a difficult one, and people who teach the Commedia, including myself, usually pass quickly from Inferno 8 to Inferno 10 without much comment other than the obvious: here Dante is

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Canto 8: The Gift of Scorning Sin

By Caitlin Bootsma In the beginning of the eighth Canto, Dante and his guide, Virgil, find themselves at the bottom of a tall tower in hell. The tower’s purpose, they soon discover, is to signal the boatman of the River

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Canto 7: Grasping at Futility

By Deacon Tony Amato As Dante and Virgil continue down into the fourth circle of that place “that crams all the evil of the universe” [line 18], they meet the souls of the damned who excessively loved riches. In keeping

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Canto 6: The Weight of Sin

By Fr. Ryan Erlenbush Numbering only 113 lines, the sixth canto of the Inferno is the shortest in the entire Comedy. Dante, having witnessed the torments of the lustful flying to and fro, descends now to third circle of hell

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