Circle II is the circle of carnal lust. Dante witnesses Minos, a great beast, examining each soul as it stands for judgment. Here Dante follows a narrative method that he uses consistently, of first giving us information and then challenging our ability to integrate it into our understanding.
As he climbs, however, he encounters three angry beasts in succession—a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf—which force him to turn back. The Labor of Devising Hell [Aeneid 6. Dante is focused instead on the proper functioning of the human faculties in the healthy soul.
Now, however, the drops consist of filth and excrement, and a horrific stench fills the air. The souls of the damned in this circle swirl about in the wind, swept helplessly through the stormy air.
He asks the names of some that are blown past, and Virgil answers with their names and some knowledge of their stories. In the example of Francesca and Paolo, however, Francesca did not deliberately choose adultery; hers was a gentle lapsing into love for Paolo, a matter of incontinence, and a weakness of will.
The fourteenth-century commentator Guido da Pisa offers the gloss: Francesca was the aunt of Guido Novello da Polenta, Dante's host in Ravenna during the last years of the poet's life However many times Minos wraps his tail around himself, that is the numbered circle of hell to which the sinner must go.
Dante the Pilgrim weeps and suffers with those who are suffering their punishments.
Caina is a section of the ninth circle, of traitors. Francesca implicates her reading in her moral life. As they leave the Third Circle, Dante asks Virgil how the punishments of the souls will change after the Last Judgment.
Love was the downfall of her and the man she loved; both of them were murdered. Love was the downfall of her and the man she loved; both of them were murdered.
Yet it is Dante the Poet who put her in Hell.
The distance between Dante and the various moralistic traditions is immense. Her love was her heaven; it is now her hell. Dante ignores Dante canto 5 and makes Minos into a stern and horribly bestial judge.
Dante asks Virgil to identify some of the individual souls to him; they include many of great renown, including Helen, for whose sake the Trojan War was fought, and Cleopatra.
She found her only happiness, and now her misery, in Paolo's love.Summary Dante and Virgil descend to the second circle, this one smaller than the first. This is the actual beginning of Hell where the sinners are punished for Canto V.
Cantos V–VI Summary: Canto V This one, who now will never leave my side, Kissed my mouth, trembling. A Galeotto, that book! Dante and Virgil now descend into the Second Circle of Hell, smaller in size than the First Circle but greater in punishment.
Dante-author, who as a young poet had written the very kind of love poetry that Francesca is here quoting, creates a dramatic scene at the end of the canto in which Dante-protagonist is unable to keep a critical distance from Francesca and her story.
Lust Here Dante explores the relationship--as notoriously challenging in his time and place as in ours--between love and lust, between the ennobling power of attraction toward the beauty of a whole person and the destructive force of possessive sexual desire.
Summary Dante and Virgil descend to the second circle, this one smaller than the first. This is the actual beginning of Hell where the sinners are punished for Canto V. Lust Here Dante explores the relationship--as notoriously challenging in his time and place as in ours--between love and lust, between the ennobling power of attraction toward the beauty of a whole person and the destructive force of possessive sexual desire.Download