8. Discuss the traveler’s visit to the first circle, Limbo, and why the inhabitants are there.
“The souls here, including Virgil, suffer no physical torment, but they must live in desire, without hope of seeing God”. Why are they in Limbo?
They are souls that led virtuous lives, but were born before God or they were not baptized.
Great pagan poets, historical figures, and non-Christian thinkers reside in Limbo. What are they missing if they never knew God?
They only feel the absence of God’s love a constant ache. They never know the fulfillment of knowing an almighty, loving God. (Line 40-41) How does Dante’s idea of Hell go away from the Catholic theology of this time period?
Dante moves away from these beliefs when he places those who lived before Christ and those that led virtuous lives in Hell instead of in Heaven. As the creator of his own imaginary hell, Dante shows less sympathy, automatically damning those who failed to worship the Christian God, regardless of their virtue. Lines 31-38
9. Analyze the identity of the “Great Lord” who entered the First Circle and his purpose in doing so. Who is the “Great Lord” and why did he enter the First Circle?
The Great Lord is Christ and he granted these souls a pardon for their sins when he descended into Hell during the time between his death and resurrection. Lines 50-53. What is the term for the rescuing of these notable figures? Lines 54-63
See footnote 7.
10. Discuss those souls who…