| Quote #10
[The Heavenly messenger]: "O you cast out of Heaven, hated crowd,"
The heavenly messenger offers an alternative to Virgil’s "persuasive word," offering instead "holy words." And unlike Virgil’s speeches, the heavenly messenger’s is very short and direct. Readers begin to suspect that the "holy word" surpasses Virgil’s style in its effectiveness.
| Quote #11
[Farinata]: "O Tuscan, you who pass alive across
One’s speech becomes an important factor of one’s identity. Dante, as a Florentine, apparently speaks with a Florentine (or Tuscan) accent. When someone recognizes him as a Florentine, this immediately conjures up in his mind a number of stereotypes linked to Florence, both good and bad.
| Quote #12
Faced with that truth which seems a lie, a man
Dante points out a number of inadequacies in language. At the first sight of Geryon, Dante is struck dumb. For one of the first times in the Inferno, his vocabulary lacks words to describe what he beholds. In trying to describe Geryon, Dante says his best option is to "close his lips as long as he can." Later, in comparing Geryon to a diver, Dante commits a linguistic sin. He tries to affirm the veracity of his statement by swearing on his own work. As a process, swearing or taking an oath cannot function properly if one swears on one’s own words; this demonstrates circular reasoning. By doing this, Dante shows either his arrogance or a breakdown of reasoning at beholding a sight as wondrous as Geryon.