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Unformatted text preview: The Breakdown of Humanity Rebecca Ney IECS 140, Dante’s Divine Comedy March 1 2009 In the Inferno, by Dante, the innermost and final section of Dis is the ninth circle, Cocytus, which holds the sinners of treacherous fraud in its frozen lake. In Dante’s descent to the center of the universe, he witnesses and experiences the progressive breakdown of humanity. Beasts represent lack of reason, and these traitors mirror the qualities of beasts with their terrible sins and horrid attitudes. Dante sees the cone of hell winding more and more closely to the de- creation of humanity represented in Satan’s central location in Cocytus. In Antenora, Dante fights with Bocca to find out the traitor’s identity by threatening to pull out Bocca’s hair, and in turn, almost mirroring his sin. Dante struggles to describe Antenora as he says, “…for it is no task to take in jest, that of describing the bottom of the universe, nor one for a tongue that calls mommy or daddy” ( Inf. 32.7-9). Dante alludes to the banning of 32....
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course ITAL 333 taught by Professor Brownlee during the Spring '10 term at UPenn.
- Spring '10