The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri



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The Divine Comedy

by Dante Alighieri

The Inferno

Reading Schedule:


August 24th How to Read Dante, pp. ix-xvii

August 25th Introduction by Archibald T. MacAllister, pp. 5-15

August 26th Cantos I-III, pp. 16-36

August 27th Canto IV, pp. 37-45

August 28th Cantos V-VI, pp. 46-59

August 29th Cantos VII-VIII, pp. 60-73

August 30th Cantos IX-X, pp. 74-88

August 31st Canto XI, pp. 89-95

September 1st Formative quiz over Cantos I-XI

September 2nd Cantos XII-XIII, pp. 96-111

September 3rd Cantos XIV-XV, pp. 112-25

September 4th Cantos XVI-XVII, pp. 126-39

September 5th Cantos XVIII-XIX, pp. 140-56

September 6th Cantos XX-XXI, pp. 157-72

September 7th Cantos XXII-XXIII, pp. 173-87

September 8th Cantos XXIV-XXV, pp. 188-202

September 9th Cantos XXVI-XXVII, pp. 203-16

September 10th Cantos XXVIII-XXX, pp. 217-39

September 11th Formative quiz over Cantos XII-XXX

September 12th Cantos XXXI-XXXII, pp. 240-55

September 13th Cantos XXXIII-XXXIV, pp. 256-70

September 14th Summary discussion

September 15th Exam review

September 16th/17th Summative exam


Tips for Success:

  • John Ciardi’s translation provides convenient summaries of each canto, but your study is the poem.




  • There are some useful illustrations in the text. Make sure you have a clear picture of how Hell is constructed.




  • Gustave Doré’s illustrations: http://www.worldofdante.org/gallery_dore.html




  • Always be aware of the allegorical implications of the poem, starting in Canto I when Dante wakes to find himself “alone in a dark wood.”




  • Take notes as we wander through Hell together.




  • Enjoy Dante’s poetic masterpiece. As Ciardi points out, “the gold of Dante runs deep, (but) it also runs right up to the surface. A lifetime of devoted scholarship will not mine all the gold; yet enough lies on the surface – or just an inch below – to make a first reading a bonanza in itself.”




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