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Pre-reading for Dante’s Inferno 1.Consider the saying, “You reap what you sow.” Discuss what it means to your group. 2.Does a person get what he/she deserves?

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Presentation on theme: "Pre-reading for Dante’s Inferno 1.Consider the saying, “You reap what you sow.” Discuss what it means to your group. 2.Does a person get what he/she deserves?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Pre-reading for Dante’s Inferno 1.Consider the saying, “You reap what you sow.” Discuss what it means to your group. 2.Does a person get what he/she deserves? 3.Do you believe in the afterlife? 4.Assuming there really is a Heaven and a Hell, what kind of people end up in each? 5.In Hell, what kind of punishments do you envision for: A thief A liar A cheater A traitor A murderer

2 Background Notes on Inferno Canto – Italian word for “song”. The Divine Comedy is divided into 3 cantitas of 33 cantos each (plus one introductory canto = 100 total). Stanza – a poetic “paragraph”. The division of lines in poetry. Virgil – Roman poet – lived during Caesar’s time – the father of drama. Virgil guides Dante through hell in the Inferno. Dante acknowledges that Virgil is his mentor, or hero. Terza Rima – a rhyming poetic form that consists of an interlocking 3-line rhyme scheme: A-B-A, B-C-B, C-D-C, D-E-D. Poems or sections of poems written in terza rima end with either a single line or couplet repeating the rhyme of the middle line of the final tercet (3-line stanza). The two possible endings for the rhyme scheme example above are D-E-D E or D-E-D EE.

3 The Divine Comedy Widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, Dante’s Divine Comedy is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The Divine Comedy is composed of over 14,000 lines that are divided into three canticas — Inferno (Hell) Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) — each consisting of 33 cantos. The number 3 is prominent in the work, represented here by the length of each cantica.

4 The poem is written in the first person, and tells of Dante's journey through the three realms of the dead, lasting during the Easter Triduum in the spring of The Roman poet Virgil guides him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante's ideal woman, guides him through Heaven.

5 Themes of Inferno Dante Alighieri, claims that before achieving moral redemption, an individual must take a hard look at evil both in the world and in himself. Only by confronting inner evil can people achieve self-knowledge, which is the first step toward redemption. Dante also says that people should not be expected to make their journey alone; they need a guide to help them. (for him, Virgil and Beatrice)

6 Symbol – a concrete object that represents an idea or emotion. Ex: 3 = Christian symbol: Father, son, holy spirit (God is 3 people) Allegory – symbolic representation throughout an entire literary work (the whole thing is a symbol) – everything can be read on 2 levels – literal and figurative. Literary Techniques in Inferno

7 The poem begins in the middle … in medias res – Latin literary and artistic technique where the narrative starts in the middle of the story instead of from its beginning. The characters, setting, and conflict are often introduced through a series of flashbacks or through characters relating past events to each other. Probably originating from an oral tradition, the technique is a convention of epic poetry.

8 Essential Quotes “Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here” ~ written over the entrance to Hell (establishes tone)

9 Written over the door of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” Also establishes tone! Great allusion!

10 To get back up to the shining world from there My guide and I went into that hidden tunnel;... Where we came forth, and once more saw the stars.


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