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Dante's Inferno Teaching Unit
Excerpt From this Document
- The Divine Comedy is divided into three sections: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. In The Inferno, Dante learns to recognize sin; in Purgatory, he renounces it. What is the importance of recognition to repentance and forgiveness?
- Make a chart or draw a diagram of Hell as Virgil outlines it in Canto XI. Pay careful attention to the division between Upper and Lower Hell.
- At first, Dante follows Virgil with great eagerness and high hopes. By Canto II, however, Dante’s spirits have begun to flag. Why does he think he cannot make the journey? How is he persuaded to go on?
- An epic poem is typically a lengthy chronicle of a legendary hero’s adventure. The poet often uses epic similes and formally appeals to the Muses for help writing the poem. Would you say The Inferno fits the definition of an “epic” or not? List some reasons why it should or should not be called “epic.”
- What is the significance of the inscription above Hell’s gate? Does it help why the inhabitants of Hell are static, rather than dynamic, characters?
- Why are the “Opportunists” punished outside of Hell? What was the nature of their sin? How is their self-interest different from the self-interest shown by the sinners of Lower Hell?
- What is the symbolism of the citadel Dante and Virgil see in Limbo? Why are the people in Limbo unable to get to Paradise?
About this Document
A teaching unit and individual learning packet from Prestwick House. Includes the following: Comprehensive chapter-by-chapter study guides for students Questions suitable for essay topics or discussion Vocabulary lists Muliple-choice and essay test with answer key Introductory material from Prestwick House to familiarize both students and teachers with the work.