Examples Of Canto Xix In Dante's Inferno

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This paper will discuss Canto XIX of Dante’s Inferno, where the poet presents a character named Pope Nicholas III. Superficially, Pope Nicholas III seems to be motivated by money and greed. Deeper insight gained from close reading reveals; however, that Pope Nicholas III has lost the good of the intellect in the sense that he is obsessed with power and being in charge and believes that he can gain this power through bargaining. This thesis will be demonstrated by means of the principle of close reading, repetition.
The surface meaning of canto XIX appears very obvious. Pope Nicholas III has committed Simony, and is not taking responsibility for his actions. Dante shows that Pope Nicholas III has committed simony in the opening phrase where he refers to Simon Magus, whom this sin is named after. He says, “O Simon Magus! O his sad disciples! Rapacious ones, who take the things of God, that ought to be the brides of Righteousness, and make them fornicate for gold and silver” (Dante 19. 1-4)! Simon Magus is a reference to Christianity where in the Bible he offered money to Peter in exchange for the power to lay hands on people to grant the Holy Spirit, hence the origin of this sin. Pope Nicholas III repeated and mirrored exactly what
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However, on a much deeper level I believe Pope Nicholas III was obsessed with power, which caused him to bargain with money. Pope Nicholas III feared without this power he would become insignificant to his people and family. His main goal was to please people and believed he could do this if only he brought pride to his family. This obsession is shown through Dante and through the actions of Pope Nicholas III. Pope Nicholas III desire for power caused him to “trample the good and lift up the wicked,” which is the definition of losing the good of the intellect. (Dante 19

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