| Quote #7
I answered him: "Ciacco, your suffering
Even though Ciacco does not tell a pathetic story or even attempt to gain Dante’s mercy, our poet is "forced to weep" for Ciacco’s horrible punishment. Ciacco – because of his terseness – is not considered a likeable character, so it is strange that Dante feels so deeply for him. On second thought, perhaps Dante does not. Instead of asking Ciacco to tell his story, to elicit greater sympathy, Dante does not ask any personal questions, but instead focuses on the fate of their shared city, Florence.
| Quote #8
And I to him [Filippo Argenti]: "I’ve come, but I don’t stay;
Finally, in the fifth circle of the wrathful, Dante comes to condemn a sinner, taking pleasure in his pain. However, Dante’s reasoning still does not ring true. Instead of condemning Argenti for his rage, Dante makes it personal by raging at Argenti for refusing to identify himself. However, Virgil sees the slow development of Dante’s judgment and rejoices at his harsh words to the sinner. Dante is learning.
| Quote #9
[Virgil]: "Now I would have you know: the other time
Virgil brings the etymology of the word "compassion" to new heights with his description of Christ’s love literally moving mountains. If "compassion" means "to move/feel with," Christ’s love for his followers during the Harrowing of Hell proves so intense that it moves not only the worthy members of the Old Testament with him to Heaven, but shakes the very earth itself, causing part of the valley of violence (appropriately) to topple.