1. Identify the Inferno, the
Purgatorio, and the
Paradiso as the three parts of the Divine Comedy.
2. Identify and discuss the
Inferno as allegory.
3. Describe the structure of Dante’s Hell.
4. Discuss Dante’s conception of Divine
5. Define contrapasso, the rule of retribution.
6. Recognize the poem’s satire of Dante’s contemporaries in politics, Church leadership, and poetry.
7. Discern the allusions to famous figures from the Greek and Roman classical tradition and discuss the poem as an extension of Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s The Iliad and The
1. Do you agree with Dante’s ordering of sins? If not, how should they be reordered? Is fraud worse than violence? Should any sins be added or omitted?
2. Should a person be defined for eternity by his or her worst deed? How are justice and mercy balanced in the modern criminal justice system?
3. Is the God of the Inferno a loving God, as Dante claims? Why or why not?
4. Empathy is often considered a natural and a desirable human trait, but Virgil discourages Dante’s compassion for sinners. In the modern world, can a lack of empathy be a path to spiritual growth? If so, in what circumstances?
5. Which sins punished in Dante’s Hell are the most harsh? Why?
DANTE ALIGHIERI INTRODUCTION
What Dante Alighieri did... and why you should care
He's been called il somma poeta (the supreme poet) and the father of the Italian language. Along with Petrarch and Boccaccio, he is one of Italy's Three Fountains, Three
Crowns or three greatest poets. For some time, Italian language scholars sternly maintained that no word was truly Italian if it didn't appear in his Divine Comedy. He is
Dante Alighieri, and he is one of the greatest poets of all time.
Dante Alighieri was born in Florence, Italy in 1265. When he was nine years old, he fell in love with an eight -year -old neighbor named Beatrice. Even though they rarely spoke,
Dante rhapsodized about her for the rest of his life. Dante's love for Beatrice inspired him to develop a new style of poetry worthy of her virtues, a genre that took the celebration of love as its central theme. As Dante matured, this love morphed from the physical love of another human being to the divine love of God. Once a prominent politician in Florence,
Dante was falsely accused of corruption in an act of political treachery and exiled from his native city. As his exile stretched into years, then decades, Dante created a three-part poem that symbolized his own personal transformation as well as the journey of the human soul. The pilgrim in the Divine Comedy journeys through Inferno (hell), Purgatorio
(Purgatory, which in Catholic theology is sort of heaven's waiting room) and Paradiso
(heaven, where he is reunited with God and Beatrice). It is one of the greatest works in the history of literature. Dozens of scholars have driven themselves crazy trying to translate the magic of Dante's Italian into English.
Dante's poetry is for everyone who has ever been in love, who has ever felt lost, who has ever felt betrayed or just incredibly grateful that everything worked out okay. In other words, Dante's poetry is for everyone.
DANTE’s INFERNO INTRODUCTORY LECTURE
The Inferno is one-third of the Divine Comedy, the masterpiece epic poem by
Dante Alighieri. The Inferno is a vivid series of cautionary tales drawn from Biblical and classical figures and from Dante’s Italian contemporaries. Dante’s title for his work was
Commedia or “Comedy”; the word “Divine” was added after Dante’s death. In medieval literature, the term “comedy” refers not to humor but simply to a tale with a happy ending. The three parts, or canticles, of the Divine Comedy—Inferno, Purgatorio, and
Paradiso—describe Dante’s fictional journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, the three realms of the Catholic afterlife. The Inferno is the most widely read of the three canticles; it is as expansive in