Honors 211 B Final Project: Fraud In The Church And Corruption of The Spirit As Seen Through The Eyes Of Dante

The premise of my project is an annotated edition of Canto XIX of Inferno found within Dante’s Divine Comedy. Throughout the quarter Dante Alighieri’s works particularly allowed me to visualise the period of time in which the pieces were written, and facilitated my thinking in a manner that made it possible for me to put myself into the middle ages and compare ideas of morality from then, to the modern era. I have chosen to focus on Canto XIX specifically because of the moral and ethical parameters that Dante outlines when describing the popes and their reasoning for being in the 8th circle of fraud, rather than the 6th circle of heresy. This idea of relegating members of the highest order of the church to their most severe sins is interesting to me, as well as the idea of critiquing the hierarchy of the Catholic Church of the time with the state of Europe at the time. Dante uses the Divine Comedy as a means to bring his ideology to the masses in writing in the common vernacular of the region, rather than Latin which the Church exclusively used for centuries, and in this Canto he is actively criticizing the corruption found in the Church. Dante has a basis in faith instead of in the Catholic hierarchy, and as a person who has been raised Catholic and has had a Jesuit education I find this a very compelling argument as this is my belief as well.


Inferno Canto 19