10Inf14to15W11 - Inferno 14-16 The burning sands Horrible...

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Inferno 14-16 The burning sands “Horrible art of justice” The theme of civil war (Thebes) The theme of decay and corruption (Topography, Old Man of Crete) Brunetto Latini, teacher & writer, sodomite Guelphs -- all sodomites? 1
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Canto 14:Blasphemers The relation of punishment to sin A “horrible art of justice” (14.6) To make manifest (14.7) Visible similes -- Capaneus (14.51) The sin is the punishment (14.65-66) Past/present disdain (14.69-70) 2
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Violence: From dense forest to desert Deforestation, love of birthplace (14.3) La dolorosa selva l’è ghirlanda… the grieving wood is a garland around it (14.8-12) Che fu da’ piè di Caton già soppressa trodden by the feet of Cato (14.13-15) – Who was Cato? 3
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The theme of civil war Roman civil wars – Cato in Libya, crossing the Saharan desert (Lucan, Pharsalia) 4
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Theme of civil war • Thebes – Capaneus, one of the seven against Thebes (Statius, Thebaid) 5
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Violence: 3 types 1. Against neighbor 2. Against self 3. Against God A Dio, a sè, al prossimo si pòne/ far forza ( Inferno 11.31-32) 6
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The fiery plain (Sodom & Gomorrah): 3) Violence against God • Blasphemers …. God • Sodomites …. Nature • Usurers …. Art Puossi far forza ne la deïtade col cor negando e bestemmiando quella, e spregiando natura e sua bontade; e però lo minor giron suggella del segno suo e e Soddoma e Caorsa E chi, spregiando Dio col cor, favella ( Inferno 11.46-51) 7
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The fiery plain (Sodom & Gomorrah): 3) Violence against God Blasphemers (supine) …. God Sodomites (running …. Nature • Usurers (seated) …. Art Supin giacea in terra alcuna gente, Alcuna si sedea tutta raccolta, E altra andava continüamente ( Inferno 14.22-24) 8
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The fiery plain (Sodom & Gomorrah): 3) Violence against God Blasphemy: speech act against God chi, spregiando Dio col cor, favella (11.51) Sodomy: sin against Nature Usury: sin against Art, grandchild of God. Come natura lo suo corso prende dal divino ‘ntelletto e da sua arte… che l’arte vostra quella, quanto pote, segue, come ‘l maestro fa ‘l discente; sì che vostr’arte a Dio quasi è nepote ( Inferno 11.99-105) 9
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The theme of decay and corruption Old Man of Crete Inferno 14.94-114 The hydraulic system of Hell 10
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Old Man of Crete Inferno 14.94-114 Dream of Nebuchadnezzar Behold there was as it were a great statue... Head of fine gold..arms of silver...belly and thighs of brass...legs of iron...feet part iron and part clay (Daniel 2:31-35; Durling, p. 555) 11
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Old Man of Crete Inferno 14.94-114 Ages of Man (Ovid, Metamorphoses , 1.89-150; trans. Garth, Dryden
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