Leading a Seminar on Dante's Inferno

Leading a Seminar on Dante's Inferno


by Jeannette DeCelles-Zwerneman

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When Dante awakens from a deep sleep to find himself lost in a pathless, dark wood, he cannot account for how he came to this fearful place, and he cannot find the way out. Reflecting on the journey he eventually undertakes to find his way out of this place, the poet calls upon the Muses to aid him in his recollection of these events. The Divine Comedy is that act of remembrance, and the Inferno is the first installment of that story.

Leading a Seminar on Dante's Inferno is a complete resource for teaching this masterpiece. It includes the following:

  • a lecture teachers can give to familiarize their students with Dante’s biography, Florentine politics, Virgil and Beatrice, the structure of the poem, and general information about The Divine Comedy

  • advice on how to get started teaching what might be an intimidating text

  • discussion questions and topical guidance for every canto

  • broader questions for closing discussions and essay assignments

  • beautiful illustrations

  • links to online resources and a bibliography

  • a sample chart of the nine circles of the Inferno