Dante’s Inferno

Make sure to read any materials in the modules on Dante’s Inferno as well as reading the text on pages 925-1084. Answer at least two and respond to two of your classmates’ posts. Compare Dante’s journey to the journeys taken by characters in Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, or The Aeneid. How does Dante’s appearance as the central character in the poem make it a different kind of epic? What characteristics of The Inferno are classically epic? That is, what elements are present in The Inferno and also an older epic like The Odyssey? What is the role of classical literature and culture in The Inferno? Why does Dante have a pagan, Virgil, guide him through Hell, and not a Christian, like St. Paul? Why are classical and Christian themes treated together in the poem? Don’t they seem contradictory some of the time? Why include them? What do the various types of punishments illustrate about the text? Is there a point that Dante is trying to make by having a variety of punishments? What is the nature of the final level of Hell? Why is it constructed this way? Who is there, why, and why is this significant? What is the final image of the poem and why is it significant?

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