1) Canto VIII ' Lines 67-75 '
a. Theological: The city of Dis represents the city of infidels where the “eternal flame” burns its “grave citizens” ' the fallen angels ' for their betrayal of G-d. Infidels are ones who doubt or reject G-d and lack faith and thus the gleaming mosques tower above them as do the glistening churches loom over cities of the faithful still living. The fallen angels had a choice and chose to turn against G-d and are thus punished by guarding, in essence, His crimson mosques in Hell.
b. Political: The city of Dis represents Florence where the “mosques that gleam within the valley” belong to the Pope. “The eternal flame” of the Popes greed for power is turning both the mosques red as well as the entire city. The Papacy is drawing Florence through a grave fire that has created “graven citizens” because everyone is subject to the Pope’s reign of power and some are even betrayed by it, like Dante was.
2) Canto VIII ' Lines 79-85 '
a. Psychological: The fallen angels are angered by the chance given to Dante to “journey through the kingdom of the dead.” Moreover, his chance to inform not only himself but also others of the sins and punishments of Hell. Not many are given a chance to reflect and change the persons they have become, nor are many prepared enough to face the war that will occur within once one has accepted their faults. Dante represents man’s ability to do this and the fallen angels represent man’s inability to.
b. Political: The shrill pilot represents the Whites still trapped in the Papal-run Florence. Despite his exile Dante still longs for his native city but the Whites warn him to “get out” because the Florence he knew is gone. There are also Blacks “about the gates” who had “rained from Heaven” and realized how wrong they were to have supported the Pope and thus are angered by Dante’s ability to still journey without such guilt.
3) Canto VIII ' Lines 97-111 '
a. Theological: Doubt is as...