Scandal And Schism In Dante's Inferno

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In the opening scene of Canto XXVIII of Dante’s Inferno, Dante speaks of the blood and gore that is present in the ninth bolgia of the eighth circle of Hell where those who have committed sins of scandal and schism reside. The poet compares the gruesome surroundings to the violent bloodshed during the wars in Puglia, explaining that not even these battles were as gory and bloody as the landscape of the ninth bolgia was. As Dante goes through the bolgia, he is met by a number of souls who are mutilated in various ways as a result of their sins of scandal and schism. These souls are forced to walk along a “round road” until a devil slashes their bodies in half, inflicting wounds that eventually heal, only until they reach the point where he…show more content…
He explains that this particular individual “had his throat slit, and his nose / cut off as far as where the eyebrows start.” With streams of red blood flowing from the many lacerations on his face, the man begins to speak, exposing himself as Pier da Medicina. The footnotes in the canto reveal that Medicina suffers in the ninth bolgia of Hell because of his initiation of a schism between two families. The man speaks with Dante and asks that he relay a message to two living souls upon his return to the earth. The message consisted of a warning of the deaths that will come to those on the sea. To prove that he is speaking the truth about the deaths, Dante asks to see “the traitor, who sees only with one eye / and rules the land that someone...wishes he’d never fed his eyes upon.” At this request, Medicina brings a man by the name of Curio over. He also brings Mosca over. Curio has no tongue, as it is “hacked off as far down as the throat,” and Mosca suffers from the loss of his hands. Medicina asks Dante to remember him upon his return to earth. It is revealed that Mosca suffers the torments that surround him because he “was the cause of the division of Florence into the feuding Guelph and Ghibelline parties.” Because he caused this massive war that resulted in a huge separation and intense pain and suffering, misery in Hell befalls him. Dante speaks to the lost soul, saying that he was the cause of the death of his clan. These words upset Mosca and send him into a frenzy, afterwhich, he flees from the
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