CIRCLE I: LIMBO Dantes Inferno Canto IV VIRTUOUS PAGANS This is the highest state that man can achieve without God(49)
WITHOUT HOPE, WE LIVE ON IN DESIRE (51) THE CITADEL OF HUMAN REASON & OTHER FEATURES OF LIMBO
Great dome of light Green meadow blooming Crowding, pressing souls Citadel w/seven battlements (symbolic of 7 virtues) A sweet brook flowing Dazzling glory! (53)
VIRGIL CHIDES DANTE You do not question what souls are these that suffer here?(50) Allegorical: Reason (Virgil & the other virtuous pagans) must prompt us (Dante) to question the limitations of reason itself (cant
get us to heaven alone). CLOSE READING PRACTICE STEP ONE: COPY AND ANNOTATE! So I saw gathered at the edge of light The masters of that highest school whose song Outsoars all others like an eagles
flight . STEP TWO: CREATE A THESIS Author uses [DEVICES/CHOICES] to [VERB] [THEMATIC IDEA]. OR Through/with/as [DEVICES/CHOICES], author [VERB] [THEMATIC IDEA].
STEP THREE: WRITE! USE LANGUAGE USE AND INTERPRETATION TO SUPPORT YOUR THESIS Give it a try with a partner! 1015 minutes. You will be sharing your attempt with the class.
The author utilizes figurative language and reverential wording to glorify human reason and creativity, even when it exists in one who falls short of Heavens requirements. In this tercet, Dante refers to the virtuous pagan soulspoets, heroes, and philosophersthat dwell in limbo, the first circle of Hell. He describes them as being gathered at the edge of light. Gathered implies that the souls function as a group, that they rely on one another in
their precarious position at the edge of light. This metaphorical edge the poets teeter on is the dividing line between salvation and damnation; forever will they remain on the boundary, the nearest to the light of paradise of all those in Hell. Dante names these souls the masters of that highest school . This symbolic title reflects their elevated status; to be a master of reason, even in Hell, is high praise from Dante, and shows the deep respect held for great
thinkers, even among the unsaved. The epic simile to describe the song (the ideas and legacy) of the
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