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Peter Porzio Steven Winter. Canto XXIII The Hypocrites. Literal Analysis. In this Bolgia, the Hypocrites walk around constantly while wearing brilliant, golden robe made out of lead. Famous Faces. Catalano and Loderingo, the 2 Jovial Friars.

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Peter porzio steven winter

Peter PorzioSteven Winter

Canto XXIIIThe Hypocrites

Literal analysis
Literal Analysis

  • In this Bolgia, the Hypocrites walk around constantly while wearing brilliant, golden robe made out of lead.

Famous faces
Famous Faces

  • Catalano and Loderingo, the 2 Jovial Friars.

  • Caiaphas, one of the Pharisees who proposed that Jesus should be crucified.

    • He is punished by being crucified to the ground by 3 wooden stakes where all the other hypocrites walk over him.

Symbolic retribution
Symbolic Retribution

  • The gilded lead robes that the hypocrites wear are representative of their actions.

    • Just as they appeared to be holy, good people, their robes appear to be beautiful and good.

    • But, just like their true intentions and actions, their robes are in fact a terrible burden.

  • Caiaphas is crucified just as he suggested Christ should be crucified.

    • As Christ how to shoulder the burden of the world’s sins, Caiaphas must bear the burden of the world’s hypocrisy instead.

Allegorical interpretation
Allegorical Interpretation

  • Catalano and Loderingo were part of an order called the “Knights of Saint Mary” who were knights allowed to carry weapons in order to “defend the catholic faith” under the order of the roman church.

  • These two were given governing power over Bologna and Florence, but eventually began to misuse their powers.

Topological interpretation
Topological Interpretation

  • From a moral standpoint, the robes the hypocrites wear are symbolic of what hypocrisy does to you.

  • Being a hypocrite will make you appear to be far better and holier than you really are, but ultimately it will just become a burden to you.

  • The lead robes signify how the weight of their actions hinders their spiritual progress.

Stylistic devices
Stylistic Devices

  • Simile

    • “Silent, apart, and unattended we went as Minor Friars go when they walk abroad,” lines 1-2

  • Allusion

    • “The incident recalled the Fable of the Mouse and the Frog that Aesop tells.” lines 3-5

  • Imagery

    • “Like a mother wakened by a midnight noise to find a wall of flame at her bedside who takes her child and runs, and more concerned for him than for herself , does not even pause to throw a wrap about her.”

      Lines 35-39