Writing title: Dante’s Inferno
Canto: Canto 16; CIRCLE SEVEN: Round Three The Violent Against Nature and Art
Artwork: Salvador Dali
Canto 16 summary:
The Poets arrive within hearing of the waterfall that plunges over the GREAT CLIFF into the EIGHTH CIRCLE. The sound is still a distant throbbing when three wraiths, recognizing Dante’s Florentine dress, detach themselves from their band and come running toward him. They are JACOPO RUSTICUCCl, GUIDO GUERRA, and TEGGHIAIO ALDOBRANDI, all of them Florentines whose policies and personalities Dante admired. Rusticucci and Tegghiaio have already been mentioned in a highly complimentary way in Dante’s talk with Ciacco (Canto VI). The sinners ask for news of Florence, and Dante replies with a passionate lament for her present degradation. The three wraiths return to their band and the Poets continue to the top of the falls. Here, at Virgil’s command, Dante removes a CORD from about his waist and Virgil drops it over the edge of the abyss. As if in answer to a signal, a great distorted shape comes swimming up through the dirty air of the pit.