Dante's Inferno Canto V Analysis Essay

801 WordsDec 7, 20054 Pages
Barbara Leon Humanities 2 Canto V Analysis 10/06/05 Canto V Analysis SUMMARY Dante and Virgil have just left limbo, the first circle of hell, and are now on their way into the second circle of hell, where hell really begins. It is here that Dante first witnesses the punishment brought upon the sinners. They encounter Minos, the beast-judge who blocks the way into the second circle. He examines each soul as they pass through and determines which circle of hell they must go to by winding his tail around himself. Minos warns Dante of passing through but Virgil silences him. Dante encounters a dark place completely sucked of any light and filled with noises more horrible than a tempest and sees the souls being whirled around in a…show more content…
TONE This Canto describes the first real level of hell. The canto is very poetic and makes use of many similes, metaphors, and adjectives. There is also no shortage of hyperboles. The canto begins by describing the qualities of the second circle by describing the "voice of the damned rose in a bestial moan," (v 3) referring to the damned rose as those lovers driven by passion who were condemned for their acts of adultery. In verse 25, Dante describes the choir of anguish to be "like a wound" with a simile. Next, by using a metaphor, he describes the fate of the adulterous sinners and their punishment as being battered eternally by the winds and storms of hell, as they were figuratively battered by the winds of passion in their lives on earth. He describes with a simile how "as cranes go over sounding their harsh cry, / leaving the long streak of their flight in air, / so come spirits, wailing as they fly" (v 46-48). Finally, he makes use of another simile to iterate how after Francesca tells of her tale of love, Dante faints and falls, "as a corpse might fall, to the dead floor of hell" (v 140). IMAGERY This canto begins to delve into the more sublime, dark, and mysterious. Words like, "moaning," "screeching," and "lamenting" give this canto a sad and depressed feeling. Spatially, I can imagine a dark, black whole type of place that seems like a vacuum. A lot of the words refer to dark colors and describe the
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