Inferno Canto XXVI

Inferno 26

“Consider how your souls were sown:
you were not made to live like brutes or beasts,
but to pursue virtue and knowledge.”

vv. 118-120

Eighth Circle: eighth pit: Fraudulent Counsellors. – Ulysses and Diomed.

The Eighth Circle, Eighth Pouch: the Fraudulent Counsellors are punished. Dante thunders against Florence, wishing for its end to come soon. The two poets then climb up rocky steps. Down at the bottom of the Pouch, the souls look like flickering flames – the movement of the flames reminds him of when Elijah left on a chariot of fire, beheld by Elisha, his pupil. The souls are ablaze: the fire strips represent the metaphorical fire the souls caused with their lies.

Every flame hides a soul. Dante is particularly struck by a flame that splits away into two horns of fire  seemingly coming from the pyre. Virgil explains to Dante that two souls in the flame are Ulysses’ and Diomed’s, who planned the ambush of the Trojan Horse. Dante desires to talk to them, but Virgil asks him to keep quiet and he speaks to them as an intermediary. Virgil enquires about how Ulysses’ life ended. The higher part of the flame begins to tell the story of his death. He had wanderlust and convinced a few of his friends to take a long journey beyond Hercules’ Pillars. The Canto ends with Ulysses’ shipwreck. Hardly had he seen a giant mountain, the Purgatory, when an enormous vortex broke and sank the ship and the sea closed upon his boat.

Traduzione a cura della classe 5aC A.S.20/21 del Liceo Scientifico A. Oriani di Ravenna

Canto adopted by Federmanager Bologna Ferrara Ravenna

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