10th Lit [TI_Parts 2 & 3].pdf - Bakal 1 Ethan Bakal Ms Clowe English 10H 29 September 2014 Part 2 Bolgia III and IV In his epic canticle The Inferno

10th Lit [TI_Parts 2 & 3].pdf - Bakal 1 Ethan Bakal Ms...

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Ethan Bakal Ms. Clowe English 10H 29 September 2014 Part 2: Bolgia III and IV In his epic canticle, The Inferno , Dante Alighieri reserves the Third Bolgia of the Eighth Circle of Hell for those who committed sins of simony in their lifetimes. While simony is most commonly used to describe the selling of ecclesiastic offices (Alighieri 152), the Catholic Encyclopedia defines it as the broader action of exchanging spiritual for temporal, nonsecular entities such as money and power, among others (Weber). In The Inferno , the Third Bolgia is characterized by “long rows of [round] holes cut in the livid stone” that makes up the grounds of Hell ( Inferno , XIX: 13-14). The sizes of these holes, which “[seem] to be exactly the same . . . as those in [baptismal fonts]” ( Inferno , XIX: 16-17), attest to the spectacular workings of Divine Justice. Those who reside in this Bolgia are punished by almost complete headfirst submergence in the fiery holes, only allowed the satisfaction of their calves to stick out. In their lifetimes, they used their religious connections and positions in a ludicrous parody of the moral traditions of their holy offices; therefore, they are drowned in a fiery parody of the same fonts of which they made a sham. Dante names only a slight number of the sinners whom reside in this Bolgia; however, this list may be expanded when characters derived from post-Dantean history and literature are included. Among those Dante names is the chief sinner of simony of his time, Pope Nicholas III. Distributing church offices to his relatives in an attempt to perpetuate his family’s lasting power, Bakal 1
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he “pursed wealth above, and [himself in Hell]” ( Inferno , XIX: 69). He further explains to Dante the proceedings of the Third Bolgia; “‘Beneath [his] head are dragged all who have gone before [him] in buying and selling holy office . . . [where] they cower in fissures of the stone’” ( Inferno , XIX: 71-72). In a mere three years, he shall be replaced by Pope Boniface VIII, who, in Dante’s view, is the antithesis of a righteous pope, considering his numerous ecclesiastic corruption scandals and alleged disregard for Divine Love. Boniface shall later be pushed into the cracks of the ground by Clement V, another corrupt pope. As is apparent throughout history and literature, simony is not exclusive to the time period and religious dominion in which Dante writes. For instance, in the Anglican Church of England, Thomas Watson, Bishop of St. David’s, “appointed his nephew . . . to the archdeaconry of St. David's, [clandestinely] reserving most of the emoluments for himself” (Handley 39). This ultimately resulted in his confinement in prison, where he spent the majority of his days before he later died and likely found himself in one of Dante’s fiery fonts. Furthermore, in Haruki Murakami’s modern masterpiece, 1Q84 , Tamotsu Fukada, the founder and leader of the Sakigake religious cult, manipulates his large mass of followers in his attempt to pervade Japan’s political sphere. At the time of his death, given the
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