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1 page/≈275 words
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Literature & Language
Book Review
English (U.S.)
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Inferno by Dante (Book Review Sample)


Please post one (1) comment of your own and one (1) response to another person's comment here. Below are some ideas to think about that might help you with your postings on Dante's INFERNO this week. Also, please read the "Introduction" to Dante Alighieri, the author, and his INFERNO before starting to read the actual text of Dante's INFERNO. It will help you understand this beautiful but a bit difficult work much better. If you really aren't "getting it", it's ok to get a summary/overview from someplace like Wikipedia (just type "Dante's Inferno" into their search engine) or, which has good chapter by chapter explanations of INFERNO. Some ideas and questions to consider: 1. INFERNO (HELL) is the first of the three parts of Dante's DIVINE COMEDY. The other two are: PURGATORIO (PURGATORY) and PARADISO (Heaven), but we are only readong INFERNO. Based on what the "Introduction" tells you about Dante's life and motivations for writing INFERNO (INFERNO (translation: Hell) why does he choose the ancient Roman poet Virgil in particular to accompany him through Hell and Purgatory? 2. According to the introductory biography of Dante, why is it that Virgil can accompany Dante through Hell and Purgatory, but cannot enter Heaven with him? 3. Who is it that accompanies Dante into Heaven when Virgil cannot? 4. Before he enters Hell with Virgil, Dante encounters three wild beasts. What are they and what do they represent (what they represent is explained in a footnote at the bottom of the page on which the beasts are first mentioned)? 5. Do you think that what Dante describes, at the beginning of his INFERNO, as "dark woods" could represent, symbolically, some kind of midlife crisis of his? Why? What is his age when writing this? 6. Is it fair that "Virtuous Heathens", those who lived and died before Christ and were therefore never baptized, should be stuck in Hell for that reason alone, in Dante's scheme of things? Why or why not? 7. Why isn't Charon, who ferries Dante and Virgil across the river and into Hell very friendly? 8. Who are Paolo and Francesca? What is their crime? What is their punishment? 9. If you could place two (2) people that you either know personally or know of through TV, the news, the Internet, etc. in each of the nine (9) circles of Hell, who would you put there and why? 10. Which people in which circle(s) did you find most, least interesting? Do you know why?

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