Inferno Canto 27




Doug Henry is the Dean of the Honors College at Baylor University. His academic interests covers authors from Plato to Pope John Paul II, and he is the author of The Schooled Heart: Moral Formation in American Higher Education.

Questions for Reflection

  • Why would it be such an appealing thing for the damned souls to have Dante recall their names among the living and why would Guido da Montefeltro find that so unappealing (27.61-66)?
  • How did Pope Boniface VIII contribute to Guido’s moral and spiritual corruption? How did Boniface’s political ambitions corrupt his spiritual leadership? Is it just that Guido is damned because he was misled by the Pope? How does Dante use Guido’s situation to critique the abuse of spiritual authority?
  • What does Guido mean by comparing his actions, not to that of the Lion, but to that of the Fox (27.75)? Would Machiavelli approve of Guido’s actions even if Dante does not?
  • At his death, St. Francis and a demon argue over Guido’s soul with the devil ultimately winning. The devil insists that a soul cannot will to sin and repent at the same time (27.119). What does this tell us about the nature of confession and repentance?


  • Dr. Doug Henry
  • Baylor University
  • Run Time 8:45