| Quote #7
[Dante]: "Within my memory is fixed – and now
In the circle of sodomy, Dante indirectly addresses this type of sin by showing the inappropriate love that exists between himself and Brunetto Latini, his former teacher. In an unnecessarily intimate manner, Dante considers Latini a "kind, paternal image." But because Dante already has a father figure – namely Virgil – this is inappropriate. Some scholars have also suggested that in writing together or greeting each other, Dante and Latini come into physical contact, which means that Dante puts his hands on his teacher’s aging, naked body.
| Quote #8
My guide snatched me up instantly, just as
To complement his stern, lecturing father-figure role, Virgil suddenly shows a spurt of motherly love when he and Dante are pursued by demons. In the comparison of Virgil to a mother bearing her child away from a fire, Virgil grows overprotective of his protégé Dante and "lift[s] her son and run[s] without a stop," instinctively treating his adult charge like a child. In the last line, where Dante describes himself as a "son, and not like a companion," one can hear the hint of pride and love in his voice.
| Quote #9
[Ulysses]: "…I sailed away from Circe, who’d beguiled me
Ulysses’ abandonment of his family is perhaps the most explicit illustration that fraud severs human bonds of love. Despite having braved twenty years of hardship on the open sea to get home, Ulysses quickly forgets his wife Penelope’s devotion, his son’s admiration, and his aging father’s dependence on him. In denying these intimate and tangible ties to life, Ulysses turns to a cold abstract concept of glory. His punishment for forfeiting his family’s love is death and eternal damnation.