| Quote #10
He [the Friar] answered: "Closer than you hope, you’ll find
Malacoda, who was supposedly trying to help Virgil, deliberately gave him false information to torture him. Ironically, the truth comes from the hypocrites, who also rebuke Virgil for so naively trusting a demon, a known "liar." So even the seemingly infallible Virgil, master and guide for Dante, can be deceived.
| Quote #11
[Virgil]: … "Within that flame, Ulysses
In this passage, Dante shows how the fraud practiced by individual men can come to torture a whole community of people. The "horse’s fraud" here is the trickery used to bring the Trojan horse within the walls of Troy so that the Greek soldiers, hidden inside the wooden statue, could emerge to ransack the city from within. This, of course, got many good Trojans killed. In addition, Ulysses persuaded Achilles to leave his lover Deidamia and their unborn son to fight in the Trojan War, leaving the pregnant woman distraught and vulnerable. To compound their guile, Ulysses and Diomedes lied their way into the Palladium (Athena’s sacred temple) and desecrated it, forcing countless Trojans to question their faith in the goddess.
| Quote #12
[Guido da Montefeltro]: He [Boniface VIII] asked me to give counsel. I was silent –
Dante sees lying as a disease. To illustrate the point, he shows Guido da Montefeltro considering Pope Boniface’s words "delirious" or, as the Italian reads, "feverish." Pope Boniface VIII exchanges a promise he cannot fulfill – absolution – for advice to raze a rival family’s estate to the ground. In a telling statement, Guido reflects the pope’s moral corruption because he advises "long promises and very brief fulfillments." Here, Dante seems to comment that language – for all its eloquence – can just be a sham. Silence here would have been a better response for Guido than saying anything at all.