The Second Circle Of Hell In Dante's Fifth Canto Of Inferno

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Upon reading the fifth Canto of Inferno, Dante is presented with the second circle of Hell. In this circle he is met with those who died due to their actions of love and lust. Such inhabitants of such a circle include Cleopatra, Helen, and Dido to name a few. Dante is also met by Francesca and her lover Paolo, who were caught embracing while reading Lancelot of the Lake. Francesca goes on to tell Dante about how she believes that the book is solely to blame for their digression and that their actions may not have been carried out or they may have not been caught had it not been for the book itself. Francesca’s only description of what Lancelot of the Lake is about is that it is a story of “how Love beset [Lancelot]” (line 127). If we deconstruct…show more content…
Right after this declaration Francesca also adds that there was one part of the story “that overpowered [them]” (line 132). Upon rereading at the first claim made by her in this stanza, it appears that Francesca, by saying that the reading itself caused them to look at each other, believes that this book possessed them in such a way that caused their love for each other to flare up more than what may be expected. However, by claiming that only one part of the story truly overpowered them, the part in which Lancelot is kissed by Guinevere, this is Francesca claiming the true power the book had over them. She even, in the last stanza of her tale, relates the book to Galeotto (line 137), who, in Lancelot of the Lake, was referred to as Galehot who is the one who arranged the meeting between Lancelot and Guinevere, thus causing them to kiss. Francesca even claims that “Galeotto was the book and he who wrote it” (line 137). It thus can be thought from this claim, that Galeotto, the one who caused the embrace between Lancelot and Guinevere, also caused the embrace between her and Paolo. She, as can be seen, also claimed that he had written the story as well. By saying this she implies that, owing to the fact that the one who seemingly manipulated Lancelot wrote the

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