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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.
Ã¢â‚¬ËœVexilla Regis prodeunt InferniTowards where we are; seek then with vision keen,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢My Master bade, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœif trace of him thou spy.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢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 Ã¢â‚¬â„¢scape the blast did backward drawBehind my GuideÃ¢â‚¬â€sole shelter in my plight.Now was I where (I versify with awe)10The shades were wholly covered, and did showVisible as in glass are bits of straw.Some stood 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 of countenance so sweet.He stepped aside and stopped me as he told:Ã¢â‚¬ËœLo, Dis! And lo, we are arrived at last20Where thou must nerve thee and must make thee bold,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢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,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 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.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢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 neÃ¢â‚¬â„¢er saw I of such size.Not feathered were they, but in style were plannedLike a batÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wing: by them a threefold breezeÃ¢â‚¬â€50For still he flapped themÃ¢â‚¬â€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 would;Thus three at once compelled he to lament.[Pg 263]To the one in front Ã¢â‚¬â„¢twas little to be chewedCompared with being clawed and clawed again,Till his back-bone of skin was sometimes nude.60Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe soul up yonder in the greater painIs Judas Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Scariot, with his head amongThe teeth,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ my Master said, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwhile 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:But night is rising and we must be gone;For everything hath now been seen by us.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢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 that we returned again.Ã¢â‚¬ËœHold fast to me; it needs by such a stair,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Panting, my Leader said, like man foredone,Ã¢â‚¬ËœThat we from all that wretchedness repair.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢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 and feet.90If in perplexity I then was cast,Let ignorant people think who do not seeWhat point it was that I had lately passed.[Pg 265]Ã¢â‚¬ËœRise to thy feet,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ my Master said to me;Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe way is long and rugged the ascent,And at mid tierce the sun must almost be.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Twas not as if on palace floors we went:A dungeon fresh from natureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hand was this;Rough underfoot, and of light indigent.Ã¢â‚¬ËœOr ever I escape from the abyss,100O Master,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ said I, standing now upright,Ã¢â‚¬ËœCorrect 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?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢And he: Ã¢â‚¬ËœIn fancy thou art standing, still,On yon side of the centre, where I caughtThe vile wormÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 Ã¢â‚¬â„¢neath the other sky,Opposed to that which vaults the great dry groundAnd Ã¢â‚¬â„¢neath whose summit there did whilom die[Pg 266]The Man whose birth and life were sinless found.Thy feet are firm upon the little sphere,On this side answering to JudeccaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s round.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Tis evening yonder when Ã¢â‚¬â„¢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 Ã¢â‚¬â„¢neath our sky emerged: land, as of yoreStill on this side, perhaps that it might shunHis fall, heaved up, and filled this depth no more.[Pg 267]Ã¢â‚¬â„¢From Belzebub still widening up and on,Far-stretching as the sepulchre, extendsA region not beheld, but only knownBy murmur of a brook 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 again.
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