Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
DanteworldsA Reader's Guide to the Inferno$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Guy P. Raffa

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226702674

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226702780.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 June 2021

Circle 4: Avarice & Prodigality

Circle 4: Avarice & Prodigality

Inferno 7

(p.45) Circle 4: Avarice & Prodigality

Guy P. Raffa

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents a brief plot summary for the fourth circle of Hell, followed by explanations of “encounters” and “allusions”, significant verses (in Italian and English), and study questions to aid in comprehension and facilitate discussion of the poem. Plutus, a wolflike beast, shouts a warning to Satan as Dante and Virgil enter the fourth circle of Hell, but Virgil's harsh rebuke silences him and allows the travelers to pass unscathed. Dante now sees a multitude of shades damned for the sin of avarice or its opposite, prodigality. The two groups push heavy boulders with their chests around a circle in opposite directions: when the avaricious and the prodigal collide, they turn and, after casting insults at one another, repeat the journey in the other direction. So filthy have the souls become as a result of their sordid lives that Dante cannot recognize them individually, though Virgil reports the presence of many clerics, including cardinals and popes, among the avaricious. He also explains to Dante the divine role of Fortuna in human affairs.

Keywords:   Dante Alighieri, Plutus, Satan, Virgil, shades, souls, clerics, Fortuna

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.