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A Modern Reader's Guide to Dante's «Inferno»

Second Printing

Series:

Rodney J. Payton

This book is a thorough introduction to the Inferno for today's reader. It is based on Professor Payton's many years of reading Dante's masterpiece with university undergraduates and upon the work of the very best modern critics. The Guide can be used alone as a critical aid or as a reference work for further research.

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Table of Contents

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Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi Chapter 1: Introduction ....................... . 1 Chapter 2: Canto I. The Dark Wood: Failure and the Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Chapter 3: Canto II. The Journey Begins: The Plan of History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Chapter 4: Canto Ill. The River Crossing: God's Justice and Aristotelian "Place" ........... ·. . . . . 35 Chapter 5: Canto IV. Limbo: The Strife of the Pity and Dante's Bibliography 41 Chapter 6: Canto V. Francesca: The Sin of Love and the Pilgrim's Failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 7 Chapter 7: Canto V-IX. Form in Inferno ............ . 57 Chapter 8: Canto X. Farinata: Virgil's Quarrel with Dante . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Chapter 9: Canto XI. Virgil's Lecture on Hell: A Review of Landmarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Chapter 10: Canto XII. The Minotaur: Dante's Elaborate Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Chapter 11: Canto XIII. Pier della Vigne: The Sin of Despair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Chapter 12: Canto XIV. Capaneus: Blasphemy and the Fall of Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 07 viii Table of Contents Chapter 13: Canto XV. Brunetto Latini: Sins Against Nature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Chapter 14: Cantos XVI-XVII. Geryon: Dante's Claim to Truthfulness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Chapter 15: Cantos XVIII-XIX. Fraud: Virgil's Limitations and the Corruption of the Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 139 Chapter 16: Canto XX. Fortunetelling: The Pilgrim's Triumph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 51 Chapter 17: Cantos XXI-XXII. The Grafters: Humor in Hell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 Chapter 18: Cantos XXIII-XXV. Hypocrisy and Theft: St. Thomas and the Interrelations of Sins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 Chapter 19: Canto XXVI. Ulysses: Overreaching Presumption 193 Chapter 20: Canto XXVII. Guido da Montefeltro: Prideful Presumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 Chapter 21: Canto XXVIII. The Sowers of Discord: Scandal and Schism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Chapter 22: Cantos XXIX-XXX. Alchemy: The Pilgrim's Shameful Pleasure...

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