| Quote #1
And just as he who unwills what he wills
When Dante has a moment to reflect on his hasty decision to take a tour of Hell with Virgil, his anxiety paralyzes him so that he is unable to move forward. This immobilization is shown linguistically in the oscillating back and forth between "unwills" and "wills" and his mental tangents that "draw [him] from what he had begun." Dante is rendered wholly indecisive.
| Quote #2
And after this was said, the darkened plain
In ending a canto with the protagonist fainting away "like a man whom sleep has seized," the author Dante effectively stops the action and freezes time from the reader’s perspective. From the moment the character Dante passes out right up until his awakening, readers are left unaware about whatever action takes place.
| Quote #3
And while one spirit [Francesca] said these words to me,
Again, Dante’s tendency to faint with pity inserts a gap into the plot. When Dante wakes up at the beginning of the sixth canto in the third circle, readers are left to conjecture how he got there. Because our narrator Dante is unconscious in that transit period, time seems to stop for readers as well.