Poetry at Court in Trastamaran Spain: From the Cancionero de by E Michael Gerli, Julian Weiss

By E Michael Gerli, Julian Weiss

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CANTO XXIII 167 CANTO XXIV 175 AFTER AN ELABORATE simile describing Virgil's anger and the return of his composure, the two begin the difficult, steep ascent up the rocks of the SYNOPSIS I 11 fallen bridge. The Pilgrim can barely make it to the top even with Virgil's help, and after the climb he sits down to catch his breath; but his guide urges him on, and they make their way back to the bridge over the Seventh Bo/gia. From the bridge confused sounds can be heard rising from the darkness below.

Who lived a life . 'with no blame and with no praise: The first tormented souls whom the Pilgrim meets are not in Hell itself but in the Vestibule leading to it. In a sense they are the most loathsome sinners of all because in life they performed neither meritorious nor reprehensible acts. Among them are the angels who refused to take sides when Lucifer revolted. Appropriately, these souls are all nameless, for their lack of any kind of action has left them unworthy of mention. Heaven has damned them but Hell will not accept them.

It seemed. with head raised high. and furious with hungerthe air around him seemed to fear his presence. And now a she-wolf came. that in her leanness seemed racked with every kind of greediness (how many people she has brought to griefl). 51 This last beast brought my spirit down so low with fear that seized me at the sight of her. I lost all hope of going up the hill. 54 As a man who. rejoicing in his gains. suddenly seeing his gain turn into loss. will grieve as he compares his then and now.

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