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Read the chapter(s) (cantos) of Dante’s Divine Comedy that describes your place and write paragraph (200 words) on your assigned place:

The Discussion Assignments in this class will not be typical history papers or essays. I will indicate the required answer format in each the assignment instructions. (Ask me if you have any questions!)

Proofread all of your work very carefully. Pay attention to sentence structure, spelling, grammar, and punctuation! This includes more than just running through spell checker! Read your paper aloud to see where you might be repeating yourself, and to find places where pauses, breaks, or full stops naturally occur.

Work cited page is not necessary unless you use sources other than those provided by me. For help with in-text citations and the Works Cited page, go online or to the library to access additional Modern Language Association (MLA) citation and format information.

Do not plagiaize! Be sure to paraphrase. An originality report will be generated shortly after you submit your assignment via dropbox. It will be available for you to review. Please do so and resubmit before the due date if you have not successfully summarized material in your own words. Also – please do not pad your word assignment with excessive block quotes.

Discussion Assignment #4 Dante

This assignment is due via dropbox on Wednesday, July 6 at 1 pm. The discussion will be on Thursday, July 7. Please print out assignment and bring to class on that day. You will be expected to present the material to the class on that day. This is part of your grade.

We will be covering, as part of Chapter 9, the masterpiece of Dante, The Divine Comedy. It is considered to be the most important literary work of the Middle Ages. It was important then; it is important today. It is Dante’s summary of medieval civilization just as it was fading away, a commentary of the world around him.

It is divided into three parts: Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise). Each of these parts has 33 cantos (chapters). As Dante journeys through Hell and Purgatory, he comments on sin and just punishment. As he travels through Paradise, he comments on virtue. In addition, he meets in all three places certain historical people along the way. Obviously, this allows Dante the ability to critique civilization, from the Classical Age to his day.

In Dante’s view of the afterlife, there are nine circles of Hell, seven terraces of Purgatory, and nine spheres of Paradise. Each place punishes or rewards certain specific sins or virtues. You have each been assigned a place in Dante’s afterlife in class.

Provide the following:

1. Read the chapter(s) (cantos) of Dante’s Divine Comedy that describes your place and write paragraph (200 words) on your assigned place: Please give a description of this place. What is being punished or what is being rewarded? You may want to read some commentary as well to help you.

2. Provide your favorite line from the chapter.

3. Provide the name of a historical person that Dante meets in your place. If you do not recognize the name, do a little research, so you know why Dante placed that person in that circle, terrace, or sphere. To put a contemporary twist on this project, also put a person of today’s world in your place in the afterlife.

4. Provide an artist’s rendering of your place (generally or specifically) and the historical and/or the contemporary person placed there; there are plenty out there. Print out your picture so you can share it using the projector in class.

Be prepared to present this project to the class. Print out the assignment and bring to class.

The following are some websites that will allow you to find your circle, terrace, sphere in Dante’s work (there are PLENTY more):



Also, on eLearn is the full text of The Divine Comedy.

Here are some websites that include artwork from The Divine Comedy:

Gustave Doré :




Sandro Botticelli:


William Blake



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