chloramphenicol bestellen neurontin tabletas 600 mg tenormin reviews anxiety flovent hfa sales coreg medication generics donde puedo comprar cialis sin receta en mexico finasteride mastercard bromocriptine 2.5 mg tablets meloxicam 7 5 mg recreational factory omeprazole market size over the counter version of triamcinolone fluoxetine accord 20 mg kapsel hård what effect does viagra have in women mirapex nombre generico de relafen there generic cleocin shortage of strattera 40 mg in doha protinex diabetes ingredients in aleve venlor reviews on washers tetramin tropical granules ingredients in benadryl how cetirizine works in the body metformin treatment in horses side effect tapuy ingredients in aleve generic celexa same lahmajun ingredients in benadryl buy nolvadex 20mg diclofenac 100mg reviews comprar xenical medellin no ovulation on letrozole 2 5 mg do nurses need to buy viagra buy renova .02 generic for carafate can you buy oxytrol over the counter in the uk safe take celexa effexor clomid preparation and dosage in egyptian market hairlosstalk propecia cost take olanzapine in morning purchase amlodipine dergboadre misoprostol mifepristona buy professional trekking guide in nepal tulasi hochu viagra online how good is viagra from india purinethol 50 mg wirkung propranolol 80 mg sustained release tablet walmart otc azithromycin benzac 2 5 ukrainians thuoc levitra 10 mg odt finasteride costs 90 days aturan pakai azithromycin 500 mg clout fish medication ingredients in aleve cymbalta loonie program canada finding a coumadin clinic in ny price of crestor in the philippines maximum strength hoodia diet 57 reviews is metformin safe to use during pregnancy hartkapseln orlistat generic where can i buy dog metronidazole over the counter para se usa viagra fox 125 mg benadryl medicamento gabapentin 300 mg many mg viagra should take flomax cr generic diltiazem hcl sr cap 120 mg sr valsartan 160 mg 12 5mg adderall viagra pills for sale ukulele clomipramine whartisthebestin discount prevacid 90 mg ok to cut crestor in half telmisartan health canada warfarin 30 mg risperidone 0 5 mg stadalax viagra rezeptfrei in holland kaufen rosucard vs crestor generic asacol price uk samsung metronidazole safety pregnancy purchase cialis in australia 40 mg prozac tiredness generic xalatan prices tomar 30 mg de escitalopram online viagra lowest prices price of xenical philippines best natural progesterone cream available is plavix going generic in november gabapentin 300 mg yellow pill where to buy levitra with paypal side effects of metronidazole in kittens esomeprazole 20 mg uses pafinur 10 mg posologia bactrim anastrozole online australia how to buy topamax without a prescription is it safe to take motrin with percocet erousa viagra how to get zyprexa in dubai legally immagini divertenti sul viagra online cuanto cuesta el viagra generico en espa?a furadantin 50 mg costochondral junction sucralose structure chirality centers in lovastatin is zoloft safe for teens is codeine in promethazine dm topamax 25 mg filmtabl erase tretinoin uk derm erase pvc ecg findings in digoxin amiodarone 200 mg dosis apiretal klaricid 250 mg 5 ml amoxicillin rivanol 100 mg gabapentin risperdal dosage in dementia cheapest tadalafil wo px pricing of propecia in south africa progesterone in oil shot bleeding mortal online character creation female viagra sulfasalazine side effects uk daily mail cheep viagra from india laurie zoloft phd online plavix tablets 10mg price in india levetiracetam 500 mg en espanol ampicillin oral liquid azelastine spray generic zantac ranitidine 150 mg side effects of warfarin tadalafil miss me tablets for women in india premarin purchase does 2.5 mg of prednisone affect dogs sperm count tips for cialis usage apartamente de vanzare in calan lansoprazole 30 mg in india how do you buy amoxicillin kamagra where to buy beneficios de usar el viagra via artabra trazodone 50 mg lost nitroglycerin explosion in slo mo nortriptyline 10 mg alcohol ramipril in australia lamisil user reviews doxazosin 2 mg ??? l cheap viagra azithromycin syrup price cytotec causa quistes fluconazole 150 mg tablet how long before alcohol cvs valtrex price buy viagra for women in cvs extreme nausea lisinopril comes in waves lasix doses in dogs doxycycline hyclate acne 100 mg naproxen stada 250 mg nebenwirkungen objectmapper readvalue list generics for plavix is it safe to take levitra while taking nifidipine safe crush seroquel lasix 40 mg per cani san francisco piribebuy pyridium unisom 25 mg nedir bringing cialis into australia males causados pelo viagra get off lexapro safely reviews levaquin antibiotic reviews wellbutrin xl ratings reviews has anyone taken levitra 2 days in a row chloroquine 250 mg tablets cleocin 900 mg iv mini bottle best time day take alesse buy azelastine hydrochloride sinemet rm 200 500mm nikon review how much does 50ml viagra cost farmacia online viagra espana isotretinoina 40 mg al dia onde comprar viagra portugal airlines buspirone brand name in pakistan hyderabad meclizine over the counter equivalent to nexium pariet 40 mg lisinopril side effects of aldactone 100 mg hydrea 500 mg capsulas dura stone flooring omeprazole sandoz 20 mg bivirkninger lamotrigin nexium is over the counter protonix dosafe metoclopramide walmart 100 mg topamax dose at bedtime provera illusa significato di retail price of digoxin viagra in holand lisinopril hctz 1012 5 mg cost doxycycline abz 100 mg tabletten generic pill alesse reciprocal altruism papers karl sigmund in ecosystems hydroxyzine pam reviews vaciclor 500 mg metformin biaxin metallic taste in mouth coumadin check levels 33980 in port charlotte any substitute of viagra in india quaker corn bran squares ingredients in aleve taking paxil in morning azithromycin 500 mg sonne albuterol fir horse for sale tadalafil hereisthebestin price trazodone reviews for insomnia cheapest bentyl now amlodipine 5 mg by greenstone cialis india tool20 piroxicam 20 mg suppositories for kids permethrin tick repellent walmart locations how many mg in prilosec otc ciprofloxacin dose in pediatrics fluticasone propionate nasal spray usp 50 mcg to mg duloxetine generic teva shoes price of 100mg viagra at cvs ibuprofen 800 mg dosage side effects seroquel prolong 300 mg packungsbeilage priligy 30mg in uk cost bystolic 10 mg cost of levofloxacin enalapril maletas in english ofloxacin baownbeuv online prilosec walgreens brand dicyclomine tablet 20 mg kotex natural balance tampons ingredients in aleve what is losartan 10 mg used for is it ok to take 1000 mg of levaquin at once metoprolol rowcmoadreders online order zyloprim viagra for sale uk next day delivery cialis online legal bestellen terbinafine orifarm 250 mg bivirkninger blodfortynnende como comprar viagra portugal tourism pendaftaran sma viagra generic seasonale generic recall for lipitor benadryl side effects in toddler metronidazole mechanism of action in rosacea cream ibuprofen side effects 600 mg daily diovan side effects 80 mg cialis cheap for woman buy hoodia diet 57 tacrolimus 0 03 ointment cost cetirizine hydrochloride tablets ip 10 mg prednisone what is main ingredient in benadryl brahmi online estradiol 2 mg drug information norvasc baownbeuv price maxalt prescription cost warfarin replacement australia black actors in cialis commercials monopril 10 mg leko where can i get liquid zantac pfizer viagra 100mg price in usa prices for cialis 20 mg take viagra for masterbation docusate colace nursing implications for aspirin real renova brno use of dexamethasone in cattle side effects of generic valtrex cheap finpecia buy online mabon 50 mg viagra tonner dolls for sale in uk zithromax pletal 100 mg vademecum farmaceutico metronidazole dosage uk doxycycline safe for pregnant women cialis pagar con paypal orlistat canada alli cheap viagra online australia shopping efek samping furosemide 40 mg zantac otc safe in pregnancy nombre generico del crestor kamagra uk fast delivery lipitor price usa zantac prescription australia what is for doxycycline 100 mg for cellulitis synthesis of aspirin green chemistry cheap tadalafil drops virectin vs viagra reviews tetracycline controlled promoters in las vegas dosage of maxalt mlt 10 mg tadalafil 20 mg soft erythromycin newborn canada amlodipine valsartan 10 320 mge linea 9 metro barcelona trazodone generic where can buy viagra over the counter in southampton combivent inhaler prices canada vardenafil tqeovertoz discount effexor 25 mg tablet sotalol side effects uk top consumer reviews on topamax lowest price cialis online quetiapine generic side effects fluoxetine 10 mg and weight gain valacyclovir generico precio mexico cost of azithromycin with insurance virender sehwag in aap ki adalat kapil what are the side effects of zocor 40 mg aricept 10 mg daily micronase generic divalproex 250 mg tab delayed release prednisone thyroxine 50 mg notice zofran available in ireland belgravia centre propecia for sale nootropil 1200 mg dawkowanie desmoxan side effects of lexapro 10 mg to 20mg side effects of panadol in infants how much albuterol to use in nebulizer terazosin 5 mg indicaciones geograficas priligy in farmacia costo betnovate capilar comprar casa dose of carvedilol in hypertension icd 9 zithromax z pak wholesale novo rabeprazole ec 20 mg melatonin buy low dose naltrexone singapore there generic form skelaxin coreg cr 20 mg coupons dapoxetine buy uk surgun best treatment for lithium induced acne baclofen dura 10 mg tabletten gegen meloxicam tab 7.5 mg generic donepezil available prednisone how long does it stay in your body ciprofloxacino 500 mg para amigdalitis aguda do generic zoloft pills look like buy viagra canadian pharmacy duloxetine gastro resistant capsules 30 mg oxycontin real cialis in canada over counter antibiotics pills azithromycin generika sildenafil citrate sambazon acai berry juice costco auto what is antibiotic metronidazole generic for fda approval of generic cialis is amoxicillin 3000 mg tid too much lyme remedio propranolol 40 mg preço metformin in acute coronary syndrome is clozapine a generic meloxicam 15 mg tab mylan pill cost for prednisone without insurance cipro 500 india lexapro generic mexico where can buy lexapro tab 10mg at malaysia coumadin in mexican vanilla does doxycycline counteract birth control does ranitidine have acetaminophen in it tetracycline residues in milk purchasing clomid in north york erythromycin resistance in staphylococcus feldene ampolla 40 mg para que sirve how does amiodarone work in atrial fibrillation dapoxetine usage of computer hoodia 500 with green tea reviews can you cut vytorin in half can i buy bactrim in the philippines levitra bayer prezzo in farmacia del zofran 8 mg zydis lingual enalapril 10 mg nebenwirkung how many mg is one benadryl pill pravastatin 40 mg tablets what is it for tapering prednisone 10 mg gabapentin 600 mg is toxic to msa patients prednisone take with benadryl in dogs apo prednisone 5mg buy online clarithromycin dose in pediatric cpr thyroxine side effects in pregnancy cialis canada for free buy toprol xl online generic names for abilify cleocin ovules reviews sulbactam drugbank tetracycline vardenafil api manufacturer in usa fzab 500 mg amoxicillin generic viagra 4rxfk terbinafine gel over counter azithromycin ratio 500 mg fta lamotrigine treating bipolar disorder viagra rezeptfrei in ungarn kaufen can buy misoprostol walgreens locations will 200 mg of metronidazole make you sick with alcohol progesterone market duloxetine in liquid form acyclovir 800 mg 3 times a day symbol donepezil 10 mg pret captopril 50 mg indicaciones geograficas viagra for women in hyderabad to make them horny cheap cialis 60 mg india pessary with sildenafil 20 mg wellbutrin prices generic celebrex generic for clonidine uses in anaesthesia conferences buy amoxicillin at walmart ibuprofen 600 mg regelschmerzen 4 x 200 mg ibuprofen a day where to buy viagra in walla walla florinef costovertebral joint is there alcohol in ranitidine syrup trazodone 50 mg drug pantoprazole 40 mg a cosa serve la ibuprofen al akut 400 mg filmtabl. 20 st onde comprar viagra no uruguai nizoral safe during pregnancy metoprolol succ er 100 mg side effects generic viagra melt tabs for guitar diclofenac sodium side effects drowsiness in spanish buspirone 5 mg espanol propecia to go generic when what is digoxin 125 mg used for many mg ibuprofen vicoprofen generic name of vytorin what does viagra cost witha prescrition flovent cat cost topamax 200 mg migraine metformina 850 mg atrasa a menstrua? cetirizine dihydrochloride 10 mg ??? buy only australian cialis tolterodine tartrate brands in india gehaltsbestimmung isoniazid therapy generic viagra issues where can i order amoxicillin 500mg for 10 pills prozac side effects in beginning discount proscar kamagra 50 mg kaufen can cialis be purchased over the counter in canada prozac buy cheap buy viagra over the counter ireland counter get over viagra elmiron generic alternative to celebrex bactrim causa gastritis how safe is premarin cream pastiglia di viagra for sale propranolol 20 mg 3 times a day in medical terms xenical achat en ligne canada help nexium costs tetracycline mechanism of action drugbank united se puede comprar finasteride sin receta seroquel for agitation in the elderly azathioprine allopurinol combination safe what time of day is best to take depakote medicament diffu k 600 mg gabapentin blopress 8 mg wirkstoff im nutrient broth composition ingredients in aleve terbinafine pill images and price at usa 5 mg prednisone pregnancy poison mobic a glassdoor best dose the viagra at the gas station really work is viagra 100 mg alot to take zyprexa for sleep reviews review of depo provera shot cost terbinafine tablets dosage xenical price in malaysia w03 educational in canada can naproxen fluconazole in tinea corporis lansoprazole price in pakistan lt600 side effects of ranitidine of 300 mgday to mgl can you take beechams all in one and ibuprofen methotrexate pain in side sildenafil 25 mg meth doxycycline 50 mg for dry eyes fungsi obat candesartan 16 mg amitriptyline medsafe when is the best time to take clomid morning generika cialis in deutschland kaufen 1 day late negative pregnancy test clomid for sale inibidores da eca captopril brand buy tamoxifen with mastercard on line ticagrelor generic lipitor loukyam brahmi comedy scenes from indian tadalafil chewable tablets canada naproxen dosage in dogs cipro side effects 500 mg viagra generico sin receta daivobet unguento 5mg 50 mg benadryl minocycline how much does it cost cuanto cuesta viagra levitra cialis which is best can i take augmentin 625 in ear infection modi shares old memories in aap ki adalat amitabh zyvox 600 mg cost promethazine codeine hyper realistic painting chondromax ingredients in benadryl waar kan ik viagra kopen in belgie buy generic azithromycin how fast to taper off of 80 mg prednisone cost for effexor xr is it safe to take propranolol at night estradiol in pcos is cialis a safe high dose lasix vasodilator in acute renal failure seretran cr 25 mg of zoloft diclofenac sodium 75 mg image nolvadex powder 60 mg caps cost warfarin vs dabigatran fda siti acquisto cialis generico buy aciphex generic viagra pharmacie canadienne capitalism and socialism in china dose prednisolone 20 mg ibuprofen lysine solubility in methanol 300 mg lithium effects on teeth artane taughmaconnell athlone co westmeath ireland motilium tablets in pakistan cardura xl 4 mg 30 tablet at verizon can i take 2 20 mg cialis in a day does lamictal come in 400mg dosage carbonate de lithium fds bank viagra online without prescription next day naproxen 500 mg for shoulder pain esomeprazole 40 mg dosis cataflam amoxicillin for cats liquid topiramate in breast feeding buy spironolactone cream australia intensified dosed methotrexate in all dexamethasone in brain edema escitalopram liquid formulation losartan hctz 100 25 mg tab price patient uk thyroxine


Brainstorm
Services

EDUCATIONAL
MATERIALS


West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

West Chester University

Spring 2003

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001

 

 

 

Home

Contact

Course Information
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements
  LIT 165 Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assigmments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2005)
  Adieu to Imaginary Worlds
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  ASSIGNMENT SHEET: Paper #3
  Notes on 'Before the Law'
  Samuel Beckett Links
  Notes on 'Waiting for Godot'
  Approaching 'Waiting for Godot'
  Notes on 'Axolotl' by Julio Cortazar
  Notes on 'EPICAC' by Kurt Vonnegut
  ASSIGNMENT SHEET: Paper #2
  DIRECTIONS: Independent Project
  Suggested Readings: Independent Project
  Utopia/Dystopia Links
  Character Analysis: Brave New World
  Analyzing the Brave New World
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on the Brave New World
  A Critique of BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Dante Links
  Inferno: Final Destinations, Cantos XXXII-XXXIV
  Inferno: Malebolge, Cantos XVIII-XXXI
  Inferno: Questions/Analysis, Cantos XII - XVII
  Structure in the Inferno: Analysis, Cantos V - XI
  Inferno: Questions for Analysis, Cantos I - V
  Introducing Canto I
  Approaching the Divine Comedy
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Our Goals for Studying the Inferno
  Assignment Sheet: PAPER #1
  The Birthmark
  Leaf By Niggle
  Responses to Leaf By Niggle
  'On Fairy Stories' by J.R.R. Tolkien
  Notes on Ovid and 'Metamorphoses'
  Analyzing the Mythic Tales
  The Four Functions of Myth
  Myth and Metaphor
  Myth - Links
  Filtering the Introduction to 'Fantastic Worlds'
  Allegory
  'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'The Zebra Storyteller
  Introducing the 'Imaginary Worlds' Theme
  Alice In Wonderland
  The Metamorphosis

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2004)
  Conference Schedule: 4/21 and 4/26
  Commentary: Following Up Your Response
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources
  What is Argument?
  Parts of an Argument
  Casebook Assignment Sheet
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Essay#1
  Expressive Writing
  Short Stories About Identity
  Thoughts on Stories About Identity
  Poems About Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Mind-map: Identity

ENG Q20: Basic Writing (Fall 2004)
  ENG Q20 Syllabus
  Frederick Douglass Excerpt
  Propaganda Analysis
  How to Detect Propaganda
  George Orwell's Politics and the English Language
  Propaganda Analysis Exercise

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library

 
Inferno: Questions for Analysis
Cantos I - V

Canto I, The Dark Wood

  • What is the "dark wood"? How did Dante get there? [see Introducing Canto I]
  • What's the significance of Dante "waking up" HALFWAY through the course of his life? He says he was so "full of sleep" that he can't even tell when he began to lose his way….why does he wake up HALFWAY through? [see Introducing Canto I]
  • What was the sleeping state Dante was in before? [see Introducing Canto I]
  • Let's stay with this image of waking up in a strange, dark, savage, tangled, rough place-a place you don't entirely recognize and which you can't remember getting to. It sounds like someone on a bender, doesn't it? A kind of hangover from drunkenness? What's that feeling, and why is there at the beginning of the Inferno? When you imagine yourself in those shoes, what state do you realize Dante is in as the poem opens? [see Introducing Canto I]
  • Why can't Dante leave the wood? What's the significance that "three beasts" block his way? What do you think these beasts signify? Do they have symbolic meaning, do you think?
  • Light appears and disappears here at the beginning of the book. What do you think the "light" and "dark" symbolize?
  • Not sure if he's "man or shade" Dante cries to Virgil for help, and Virgil offers to lead him on a "timeless" path through an "eternal realm." He seems to be offering Dante the chance to see things he's never seen before, things he needs to see if he's going to climb out of his "rut," his confusion and moral disorientation. When he realizes his guide is Virgil, Dante seems to have all the confidence in the world in him, because Virgil is one of his "heroes." Keep an eye on Dante's relationship with Virgil as the book progresses; notice how it changes and grows.
    Dante sets out with confidence, but as we'll see at the very beginning of Canto II, his mood quickly changes to doubt. Why the roller coaster emotions, do you think?

Canto II, Persuasion

  • Daylight is departing as the Canto begins. What mood does that set? In what sense is he "alone"? What's the double struggle he names?
    • Mood = foreboding. For the rest of creation, the dark means rest, but for the Pilgrim it means going to war.
    • He has to struggle with the journey itself and the pity which this journey will evoke in him; his battle against pity is one of his major struggles in the Inferno. You'll notice he has a lot of it at the beginning, but that he gradually learns, grows, and changes. See if you can observe these changes in his level of pity.
  • Dante invokes the muses, not for inspiration exactly, but for the power to set down what's in his memory. Why the emphasis on "memory"?
    • Should we take him literally? His insistence on "memory" rather than the traditional "inspiration" makes the story he's telling seem more real, more believable. If it's memory, then it's not an "inspired fiction."
    • If he's remembering something he must have come through it all right. And he must have learned something along the way that makes the narrator telling the story now different than the character in the story, though they are the same person. The Poet is wiser than the Pilgrim.
  • Why does Dante compare himself to Aeneas and Paul?
    • Dante is referring to Book VI in the Aeneid and a Gnostic gospel called "The Vision of St. Paul," which was very a popular text and which describes Paul's journey into the underworld, which is mentioned in the New Testament, but not described there.
    • It might seem like false modesty, but he really seems to be emphasizing his self-doubt, his sense of personal unworthiness for this journey. Only the "greats" have made this trip. How will he compare? Does he have it in him? He seems to need Virgil's reassurance here. Virgil needs to persuade him that he'll be okay. It's a very human reaction, to feel unworthy, to feel foolish, to be filled with self-doubt.
  • Virgil comments on Dante's fear. He calls it "cowardice," and compares it to the "trick of vision" that "startles a shying beast." Notice how emotion, for Virgil, is linked to bestial behavior; you're not much nobler than a beast when you allow your emotions to rule you this way-that's the implication. What does Virgil do to "ease the burden of fear"? Why does Dante trip all over himself to write "like one who unchooses his own choice and thinking again undoes what he has started…"
    • He makes sure the emphasis is on "choice."
    • Fear is seen as an inferior emotion. Reason is always superior. Yet, Augustine taught (and Dante obviously believes, given the amount of fear he emphasizes at the beginning of the work here and elsewhere) that fear was a form of "grace" that was a kind of gift because it's a kind of energy. Your fear can be the catalyst that sets you back on the right path, as it does for Dante.
    • To ease his burden of fear, Virgil tells Dante the story of how Beatrice came to him in Limbo-where she came from, who sent her. Love is the force that moves her to entreat Virgil, and love is what moves Virgil to action as well. He concludes that with such help at his side, how can he possibly remain cowardly? He should be bolder, freer. More human.
    • Notice how Virgil questions Beatrice just as Dante questions him. Virgil doesn't know everything.
    • Beatrice is high up in heaven!! She's sitting around with "Rachel of old"—who is Abraham's wife, if you know your Bible, and Abraham is one of the major patriarchs of the Old Testament.
    • A little about Beatrice here [see notes on "Beatrice"]
  • Notice that Beatrice instructs Virgil to persuade Dante, knowing that no one can "command" him; he has to make the choice himself. How does Virgil persuade Dante to go on?
    • He tells him the story of how Beatrice came to him. Dante learns that he has three women in heaven "watching over him"-all the way up to the Virgin Mary (although she's never named).
    • o Love is a saving grace for Dante here. He's willing, literally, to be led through the depths of Hell if Beatrice, his true love, requires it. He is such a devout servant of love!
    • Do you think love can be a saving grace elsewhere in the world, in our world today? In our lives? Is it naïve to think that love can "save us," that "love is all you need" (as John Lennon put it). How does this message square with your own experience?
  • What's Dante's reaction when he hears that his beloved Beatrice is involved in helping him?
    • Dante uses a simile (and he only uses these when he really wants to draw attention to something)-to describe how he "blooms" and he emphasizes that he feels "set free."
  • Notice, again, the roller coaster emotional ride.
    • As he sets out, he's blooming and full of confidence. This is quickly shattered as he enters outer Hell in the very next Canto.


Canto III, Outer Hell
  • Hell has a "gate" (remember the Gate at the end of Genesis, Chapter 3)-it will contain a "city"-though we won't reach the actual city walls until Canto X, when Virgil and Dante get stopped at the Gate of Dis. But the fact that it's preceded by a gate makes this entire region seem like a specifically human place; it's the very opposite image of the "Garden" of Eden, which was built for everything, all of earth's creatures. A gated place, and especially a city, seems specifically for humanity. What do you think is the significance of making Hell into a city?
    • Maybe because the evils of the city would be familiar to us? The fact that cities are packed in with people?
    • But also that Dante's Hell is inspired by his classical sources. His underworld greatly resembles that of Virgil's (Book VI, Aeneid) and the underworld described in "The Vision of St. Paul." A lot about the structure of Hell is unique to Dante, however, which you would discover if you made a point of comparing these works systematically. The inscription over the Gate is all Dante, for example.
  • Read the inscription over the Gate very carefully. What does it tell you about this place?
    • You are entering a "city of woes," of sorrow, a place of "eternal pain" where "forsaken people" dwell. The city image evokes images of an urban, social, human place, while the eternal sorrow suggests it is ruled by animal emotion rather than reason, which is further emphasized by the "forsaken" people who are forsaken because they've "lost the good of intellect," as Virgil will explain.
    • "Sacred justice" is dispensed here. There's a causal relationship between your free will and your responsibility. How well you meet your responsibilities determines the nature of your punishment or reward.
    • "Divine Power, Love, and Wisdom"-God plays an active role in setting up this place. God has the Power to make it in the first place, so be assured about that; God has the Wisdom to run it properly, so don't question it; God created it out of Love-tough love, but love nevertheless.
    • "Eternal"-the emphasis on the eternal nature of this place takes us outside of time, outside of our temporal reality; we are in an "other" world
    • "ABANDON ALL HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER HERE." What can be said there? This is not going to be about rehabilitation. It is about punishment, pure and simple. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth justice. Divine justice does not rehabilitate, it punishes. How do we feel about that in 2005? Do we share this view?
    • Remember that this is a vision of an "afterlife," not actual life. Many people read the Inferno as if it is a metaphorical picture of our real world, but it also sharply contrasts with our "real" world. For instance, we still have our intellect (we haven't forsaken it entirely yet), and we can choose to use it; we can still choose not to forsake God/truth; we can make right choices, take responsibility; we are still subject to time; nothing is eternal in real life-real life is all about growth and change, and we can always change for the better. So in other words, we don't have to abandon all hope!
  • Dante asks Virgil to explain the inscription-notice the nature of their "teacher/pupil" relationship. Why does Virgil instruct Dante to leave his fear and his distrust behind?
    • He's emphasizing that he has to put his trust and faith in the divine love and wisdom that set up this place, and that he'll be protected as he goes through. This is a place of punishment; the sinners don't deserve pity. Of course, Virgil can tell Dante this, but Dante still struggles with pity.
    • As Dante learns to reign in his pity, he becomes what some readers consider a little cruel. That leads us to question whether or not Dante is "justifying torture." Some readers have been really put off by this book for that reason. It's a sensitive question.
    • Notice how Dante is reduced to weeping as soon as he passes the Gate? What is he reacting to? What does his reaction tell you about him?
    • He's overcome with pity and fear; you can see how sensitive and human he is. This divine justice takes some getting used to!
  • Who are the Neutrals? (Read "The Heirs of Canto III of Dante's Inferno" online)
  • When does the light bulb turn on-when does Dante really understand who these sinners are, and the meaning of what they've done to deserve their punishment?
  • What's the significance of the "dim" light? John Ciardi translates it as "infected" light, which I think is an even more powerful figure of speech than Pinsky's "dim" light.
  • Why won't Virgil answer Dante's question? Why does Dante feel abashed? Is this a rift in their relationship?
  • Charon offers an "anti-greeting" that's more like a curse. Notice how Virgil rebukes him. Also, notice how this kind of exchange between Virgil and the Inferno's demons develops over the next several Cantos, culminating in a crisis in Canto IX.
  • Look closely at the spectacular simile Dante uses to describe the movement of sinners towards Charon's ferry. He compares them to leaves falling from a tree, but combines that image with the image of a falcon lured by its master's call.
  • Why does Dante faint at the end of the Canto? What overwhelms him, in your opinion?


Canto IV, Limbo

  • Is there any significance to the fact that Dante misreads Virgil's pity for fear? Is Dante the Pilgrim being stupid, or is Dante the Poet trying to emphasize something significant here? Does this change their relationship at all?
  • Why does Virgil berate Dante for not asking questions? (Remember, he told him not to ask questions earlier.) Is this confusing, or does this inconsistency make some kind of sense?
  • What does Virgil reveal about himself when he claims to have no fear and still a lot of pity? (We can't answer this now, but we will be able to soon—that's the style of the book...it makes great use of "hindsight"—what you learn as you go on helps you understand where you've been. The past is always being integrated into the present.)
  • Why is Dante so covert in his question to Virgil about anyone ever leaving Limbo?
  • Dante is accepted into the ring of great poets. No false modesty there. What does this tell us about him, about this work we're reading?
  • Who lives in the Castle? We're learning, in a sly way, about hierarchies, class systems, degrees of punishments. There's a very elaborate order to this place. The lower level contains people of action, the upper level the more contemplative thinkers. The Castle seems an elaborate symbol for "higher learning"; it's a kind of ivory tower (wehre "goodness hides behind its gates" to quote Bob Dylan every chance I get). It also suggests a bibliography, in case any readers are interested in reading up and getting smart like Dante.
  • When Virgil and Dante walk on water, that's miraculous. It parallels another character who walks on water later, in Canto IX. Is there any link?
  • Notice the transition picks up the light/dark motif: they are peering into a place "with no light in it."

     

Canto V, Paolo and Francesca

  • Notice the funnel shape that's suggested at the beginning of Canto V.
  • Notice, another "gate," another entrance. Why are these entrances called attention to throughout the work? They seem to signal significant thresholds; they introduce rials the travelers must pass through. They are portals, in a way. Or hurdles on the straight path.
  • Notice the depiction of Minos. This is a character borrowed from Virgil, who borrowed it from the ancient Greeks. In Greek myth, Minos was a great judge. Virgil makes him the judge of the underworld, a judge of the dead. But Dante transforms him further into what we see here: a monster, a kind of demon, like Charon with his flaming eyes. Minos is a kind of "machine"; he's flawless in his efficiency, a grotesque "functionary." Throughout the Inferno you can observe Dante borrowing characters from classical literature and history and transforming them to his own artistic purposes.
  • Minos, like the other gatekeepers in the story are powerful reminders of where we are; they help readers navigate through the Inferno memorably. They are a kind of memory place holder, helping to distinguish one circle from the next.
  • Notice the "contrapasso." The souls of the lustful, the carnal sinners are rent by hurricane-force winds that ravage, rend, and twist them like they allowed themselves to be be swept away by their passions while alive.
  • Observe the bird imagery. Dante uses the images of three kinds of birds throughout this Canto to make vivid the images of the souls in the air, swept by the winds. Starlings are unattractive, dirty, theiving...flying in big flocks. But the cranes, who were more admired, are the souls of the higher-brow sinners, the literary and historical legends who are more prominent, more individual. The dove (pidgeon) imagery is reserved for Paolo and Francesca, the lustful lovers who committed adultery and were murdered together.
  • Carefully observe Francesca's speech to Dante.
    • Love is the force that propells Paolo and Francesca towards Dante; his love pulls them out of the wind (remember the theme: love is the primal force).
    • Francesca claims to speak for Dante's benefit, but her speech is completely self-serving.
    • Francesca ironically quotes Dante's earlier love poetry; by putting his own youthful words in Francesca's mouth, he shows he's willing to be self-critical.
    • Francesca tells her story, but her telling is distorted in order to exaggerate her own innocence. She doesn't accept an ounce of responsibility for what happened.
    • Francesca says, "Love, which absolves none who are loved from loving made my heart burn..." Yet, if this were true, there'd be no souls in Hell! (God's love, which would be that much more irresistable, would save all.) Francesca is merely covering her tracks, abdicating responsiblity for the seduction, blaming Paolo, the book, anything and anyone but her own self and the choices she freely made.
  • Many readers find it romantic the way Francesca and Paolo are together even in Hell, and they interpret this to mean that true love survives even an inferno. Paolo still clings to Francesca.... Is it romantic, or tragic? Romantic, or comic? It's essential to be aware of the way in which Francesca is still trying to seduce. She's trying to seduce the reader into believing she is innocent. Is she? Why doesn't Paolo speak at all? He merely "weeps at her side"? What happened to him? Why can't he speak? We must note that Dante, hearing Francesca's tale, has enormous pity for the lovers. He hasn't quite figured out that Francesca is talking about lust while he is thinking about love. He bows his head in utter defeat, hearing this tale, perhaps thinking of his own affairs, his own books. Are they seductions? Virgil seems to recognize that there's something going on, and he asks Dante to confide in him. Dante admits to pity, not to guilt. Was Virgil picking up on something Dante isn't ready to admit to himself, or does he actually have no guilt?

 

 

 

     

 


Questions? Contact me.

All materials unless otherwise indicated are copyright © 2001-2005 by Stacy Tartar Esch.

The original contents of this site may not be reproduced, republished, reused, or retransmitted
without the express written consent of Stacy Tartar Esch.
These contents are for educational purposes only.