Saturday, September 18, 2010

Summer Reading: Inferno (canto 23)

Virgil hustles his charge away from their demonic escort (Dante compares him to a mother rescuing her child from fire), over a berm and into the next crevasse. The Malebolge's sixth ditch holds the hypocrites, clad in lead cloaks. Dante chats with a pair of Florentine officials who sold the city out to the Pope, then he notices Caiaphas, the Pharisee who convinced Pilate to execute Christ. The priest, ironically, is also crucified: nailed to the ground so his fellow hypocrites walk over him. To the poet, then, hypocrisy is a sort of betrayal of political beliefs.

No comments: