Write a brief essay that examines the narrator’s description of Satan in Inferno: Canto XXXIV – his appearance, distinctive features, what he does, and what he eats. How does this image of Satan fit

Write a brief essay that examines the narrator’s description of Satan in Inferno: Canto XXXIV – his appearance, distinctive features, what he does, and what he eats. How does this image of Satan fit into the historical context of Dante’s Italy?
A Brief Essay Response should consist of at least 8 sentences, following this format:
A topic sentence that answers the essay question generally.
A sentence that makes your first point or gives your first answer.
A sentence that further supports, illustrates, or discusses the first point or first answer
A sentence that makes your second point or gives your second answer.
A sentence that further supports, illustrates, or discusses the second point or second answer.
A sentence that makes your third point or gives your third answer.
A sentence that further supports, illustrates, or discusses the third point or third answer.
A concluding sentence that relates what your Sentence 2 thru Sentence 7 have to do with the Topic Sentence 1.
The reading:
‘Vexilla[858] Regis prodeunt InferniTowards where we are; seek then with vision keen,’My Master bade, ‘if trace of him thou spy.’As, when the exhalations dense have been,Or when our hemisphere grows dark with night,A windmill from afar is sometimes seen,I seemed to catch of such a structure sight;And then to ’scape the blast did backward drawBehind my Guide—sole shelter in my plight.Now was I where[859] (I versify with awe)10The shades were wholly covered, and did showVisible as in glass are bits of straw.Some stood[860] upright and some were lying low,[Pg 261]Some with head topmost, others with their feet;And some with face to feet bent like a bow.But we kept going on till it seemed meetUnto my Master that I should beholdThe creature once[861] of countenance so sweet.He stepped aside and stopped me as he told:‘Lo, Dis! And lo, we are arrived at last20Where thou must nerve thee and must make thee bold,’How I hereon stood shivering and aghast,Demand not, Reader; this I cannot write;So much the fact all reach of words surpassed.I was not dead, yet living was not quite:Think for thyself, if gifted with the power,What, life and death denied me, was my plight.Of that tormented realm the EmperorOut of the ice stood free to middle breast;And me a giant less would overtower30Than would his arm a giant. By such testJudge then what bulk the whole of him must show,[862]Of true proportion with such limb possessed.[Pg 262]If he was fair of old as hideous now,And yet his brows against his Maker raised,Meetly from him doth all affliction flow.O how it made me horribly amazedWhen on his head I saw three faces[863] grew!The one vermilion which straight forward gazed;And joining on to it were other two,40One rising up from either shoulder-bone,Till to a junction on the crest they drew.’Twixt white and yellow seemed the right-hand one;The left resembled them whose country liesWhere valleywards the floods of Nile flow down.Beneath each face two mighty wings did rise,Such as this bird tremendous might demand:Sails of sea-ships ne’er saw I of such size.Not feathered were they, but in style were plannedLike a bat’s wing:[864] by them a threefold breeze—50For still he flapped them—evermore was fanned,And through its depths Cocytus caused to freeze.Down three chins tears for ever made descentFrom his six eyes; and red foam mixed with these.In every mouth there was a sinner rentBy teeth that shred him as a heckle[865] would;Thus three at once compelled he to lament.[Pg 263]To the one in front ’twas little to be chewedCompared with being clawed and clawed again,Till his back-bone of skin was sometimes nude.[866]60‘The soul up yonder in the greater painIs Judas ’Scariot, with his head amongThe teeth,’ my Master said, ‘while outward strainHis legs. Of the two whose heads are downward hung,Brutus is from the black jowl pendulous:See how he writhes, yet never wags his tongue.The other, great of thew, is Cassius:[867]But night is rising[868] and we must be gone;For everything hath now been seen by us.’Then, as he bade, I to his neck held on70While he the time and place of vantage chose;And when the wings enough were open thrownHe grasped the shaggy ribs and clutched them close,[Pg 264]And so from tuft to tuft he downward wentBetween the tangled hair and crust which froze.We to the bulging haunch had made descent,To where the hip-joint lies in it; and thenMy Guide, with painful twist and violent,Turned round his head to where his feet had been,And like a climber closely clutched the hair:80I thought to Hell[869] that we returned again.‘Hold fast to me; it needs by such a stair,’Panting, my Leader said, like man foredone,‘That we from all that wretchedness repair.’Right through a hole in a rock when he had won,The edge of it he gave me for a seatAnd deftly then to join me clambered on.I raised mine eyes, expecting they would meetWith Lucifer as I beheld him last,But saw instead his upturned legs[870] and feet.90If in perplexity I then was cast,Let ignorant people think who do not seeWhat point[871] it was that I had lately passed.[Pg 265]‘Rise to thy feet,’ my Master said to me;‘The way is long and rugged the ascent,And at mid tierce[872] the sun must almost be.’’Twas not as if on palace floors we went:A dungeon fresh from nature’s hand was this;Rough underfoot, and of light indigent.‘Or ever I escape from the abyss,100O Master,’ said I, standing now upright,‘Correct in few words where I think amiss.Where lies the ice? How hold we him in sightSet upside down? The sun, how had it skillIn so short while to pass to morn from night?’[873]And he: ‘In fancy thou art standing, still,On yon side of the centre, where I caughtThe vile worm’s hair which through the world doth drill.There wast thou while our downward course I wrought;But when I turned, the centre was passed by110Which by all weights from every point is sought.And now thou standest ’neath the other sky,Opposed to that which vaults the great dry groundAnd ’neath whose summit[874] there did whilom die[Pg 266]The Man[875] whose birth and life were sinless found.Thy feet are firm upon the little sphere,On this side answering to Judecca’s round.’Tis evening yonder when ’tis morning here;And he whose tufts our ladder rungs supplied.Fixed as he was continues to appear.120Headlong from Heaven he fell upon this side;Whereon the land, protuberant here before,For fear of him did in the ocean hide,And ’neath our sky emerged: land, as of yore[876]Still on this side, perhaps that it might shunHis fall, heaved up, and filled this depth no more.[Pg 267]’From Belzebub[877] still widening up and on,Far-stretching as the sepulchre,[878] extendsA region not beheld, but only knownBy murmur of a brook[879] which through it wends,130Declining by a channel eaten throughThe flinty rock; and gently it descends.My Guide and I, our journey to pursueTo the bright world, upon this road concealedMade entrance, and no thought of resting knew.He first, I second, still ascending heldOur way until the fair celestial trainWas through an opening round to me revealed:And, issuing thence, we saw the stars[880] again.







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