Chapter 24: Canto XXXIII. Ugolino: Pity's Final Assault 237
CHAPTER24 Canto XXXIII Ugolino: Pity's Final Assault The appeal is not made in terms of fame, but of justice and amounts to a contract with the sinner: if he complains •with reason," the Pilgrim will make a case for him in the world of the living. The sinner agrees to speak in spite of the pain (XXXIII, 4-9): ·vouwill have me renew desperate grief, which even to think of wrings my heart before I speak of it. But if my words are to be seed that may bear fruit of infamy to the traitor whom I gnaw, you shall see me speak and weep together. • The words are a paraphrase of Aeneas's words to Dido at the beginning of his retelling of the fall of Troy (Aeneid, II, 3-8): •Beyond all words, 0 Queen, is the grief thou bidst me revive, how the Greeks overthrew Troy's wealth and woeful realm - the sights most piteous that I myself saw and whereof I was no small part. What Myrmidon or Dolopian, or soldier of stern Ulysses could in telling such a tale refrain from tears 7" This passage has been paraphrased once before in Canto V by Francesca (V, 121-126): And she to me, "There is no greater sorrow than to recall, in wretchedness. the happy time; and this your teacher knows. But if you have such great desire to know the first root Of our love, I will tell as one who weeps and tells. • 238 Ugolino Francesca's canto establishes...
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