Chapter 22: Cantos XXIX-XXX. Alchemy: The Pilgrim's Shameful Pleasure 219
CHAPTER22 Cantos XXIX-XXX Alchemy: The Pilgrim's Shameful PleaslM'e The next section of the poem, one of the internal •movements," begins at line 36 of Canto XXIX. Unes 1-35 are the ending of the previous movement, but some issues are raised in them which continue throughout so that they function as a transition. The images which the poet has presented since the bolgia of the grafters have become stranger and stranger. The torn figure of Mohammed and the bifurcated Bertran de Born are a momentary climax of the gro- tesque; no wonder then, that the Pilgrim reels under their impact (XXIX, 1-12): The many people and the strange wounds had made my eyes so drunken that they longed to stay and weep; but Virgil said to me, "What are you still gazing at? Why does your sight stiH rest down there among the dismal mutilated shades7 You have not done so at the other pits. Consider, if you think to count them, that the valley circles two and twenty miles; and already the moon is beneath our feet. The time is now short that is allowed us, and there is more to see than you see here. • Not only are the Pilgrim's eyes "drunken," but his guide is testy. He is sarcastic about the Pilgrim's supposed wish to count the damned. His assertion that Dante has not previously become engrossed in the sights of Hell is not strictly true. It is belied by Dante's own statement in Canto XXII, 16-18: My...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.