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  1. Inferno Dante Alighieri

  2. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) • Born in Florence, Italy • Studied law and rhetoric at the University of Bolongna • Beatrice, a girl Dante met when he was 10, was a major influence on his work (Vita Nuova) • The Divine Comedy focused on the spiritual journey of a man • This allowed him exposure to a city with a strong poetic background • Lead to him writing lyric poems that made up the Divine Comedy Background

  3. The vernacular- Dante wrote in Italian, not the traditional Latin. • Allegory • Teaches a moral lesson • Has two meanings, Symbolic and Literal • Example: A student might describe school as jail, the teachers as prison guards, the classrooms as jail cells… • In the Inferno, those who have sinned in life are seen being punished in a way that fits their crime • Dante starts in a dark wood looking for the right “Path” to follow. He is then taken on a journey that promises to lead him through hell to salvation where he will have again found his way Background

  4. Dante and the number 3 • Refers to the Holy Trinity- Father, Son and Holy Ghost • Inferno is one of three parts that create Dante’s Divine Comedy- Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso • Number of lines in each verse of the Canto • The number of places in hell • The number of days in Dante’s journey Background

  5. The circles of hell- Organized in terms of the severity of the sin that has been committed. Each of Dante’s enemies has a place in hell. • Purgatory-Temporary and is a stepping stone on the path to paradise, jail but not eternal damnation • Paradise-Dante goes looks at the rewards of love that it offers, this renews his need for redemption Background

  6. During reading questions for pages (622-626) • Describe the appearance of the three animals. • How is Virgil described? Through reading Dante’s description, what do you think his opinion of Virgil is? • Why is it appropriate that Virgil is Dante’s guide? • Explain the significance of the straight road • What does his attempt to climb the hill represent and why is he confronted by the beasts? • Is Dante concerned with spiritual matters or more social problems like politics? How does he link the two? Canto 1

  7. Evening of Good Friday • Virgil and Dante approach the gates of hell • Dante questions whether he is worthy of this journey-Aeneas made a journey and Dante feels he is in no way worthy of the same task • Virgil reassures Dante, telling him there are spirits waiting for him • One of them is his love, Beatrice, who has by now died and gone to heaven • She was sent by St Lucia to help Dante discover the right path and she begged Virgil to help in the task • Virgil tells Dante to always feel courage/worthy because the Virgin Mary, St Lucia and Beatrice (3 women of Heaven) are all there for him Canto II

  8. Imagery- The use of words or details to create a vivid image in a readers mind. • Journal # 1-Think about a novel or poem you have read that uses imagery to show horror or grotesqueness Canto III

  9. Journal #2-During Reading Questions page 629-632 • What is Virgil’s advice to Dante, spoken at the Gates of Hell? • Who are the tortured souls in this Canto? • What is Charon’s reaction to Dante’s attempt to cross the river Acheron? • How does Virgil silence Charon? • What message does the Canto express about individuals who cannot or will not make the commitment to God? • Find three examples of the use of assonance or repetition of vowels in this canto. What affect do these create? • What can you say about the image of souls as fallen leaves? What kind of tone or message does this image convey? • Charon tells souls to “Bury/here and forever all hope of Paradise.” Is hope necessary for happiness? Explain your answer. Canto III

  10. Journal #3 • For this journal you will create a simple step by step drawing, include the following: • Draw a sinner running towards a waving banner • Draw Darkness • Draw hornets stinging the sinner, blood dripping down • Draw worms and maggots on the ground feeding on the blood Canto III

  11. Dante awakes to the sound of thunder and finds he is across the Acheron • He is greeted by Virgil-he hesitates to follow as Virgil is very pale-Virgil is pale out of pity • They enter the first circle of hell-the place for pagans called Limbo (souls have either been born prior to Christ or gone unbaptized) • They pass by the wood of limbo and see souls who are held in higher regard due to their previous status in life (Homer, Horace, Lucan and Ovid (historians and authors)) • They salute Dante and all of the men walk on to a castle surrounded by a stream • Dante and Virgil move past the stream and go through 7 gates and end up at a meadow. • Dante talks of philosophers and rulers who are there, he is sad he does not have time to talk to them all, one of them is “the master of the know” =Aristotle • Dante and Virgil leave the meadow and enter a very dark place Canto IV

  12. During Reading Questions page 635-638 • Describe the creature that guards this circle of hell. Explain how he shows his judgment of Dante. • Virgil mentions the names of people who inhabit this circle. List as many as you can. • Where is the person who killed Paolo and Francesca going to when he dies? Why? • Virgil says “It is his fate to enter every door.” What is the meaning of this? • Why are the lustful blown about by the wind? • What is the truth behind Francesca’s statement, “The double grief of a lost bliss/is to recall its happy hour in pain.”? • Why does Dante feel sympathy for the sinners? • Often, people due things that seem harmless but in fact cause great harm to others. What is more important, the mistake or the outcome it produces? For example, is it wrong to cheat on a test if no one gets hurt? Explain your answer. Canto V

  13. Journal #4-Create a list of the areas of hell Dante visits and take notes about each during the in class discussion • Neither in or out of Hell • Circle One • Circle Two • Circle Three • Circle Four • Circle Five • Circle Six • Circle Seven (3 small circles) • Circle 8 • Circle 9 Circles of Hell