The Divine Comedy Questions and Answers
by Dante Alighieri

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What motivated Dante to write The Divine Comedy?

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In addition to personal and practical motivations, Dante had an instructional purpose for writing The Divine Comedy. He wanted to provide lessons to readers about living ethically and following God’s law. The Divine Comedy is an epic poem about people going to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory after they die. Dante uses this idea to voice strong views about right and wrong, and the consequences of one’s actions.

Consider other figures Dante meets throughout The Divine Comedy. Think about what landed them in Hell or earned them a place in Heaven. Draw a conclusion about what this fate may have said to the reader about their own life: could the reader learn about how to best live their life according to Dante’s system of reward and punishment?

Be certain to use examples from the text. If your translation of The Divine Comedy is annotated, it should tell you more about the people Dante encounters on his journey. Otherwise, you can research these names online (but make sure you use a reputable...

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