The purpose of this book is educational. I have read, studied, and taught Dante’s Divine Comedy, and I wish to pass on what I have learned to other people who are interested in studying Dante’s Divine Comedy. In particular, I think that the readers of this short introduction to Dante’s Divine Comedy will be bright high school seniors and college first-year students, as well as intelligent adults who simply wish to study The Divine Comedy despite not being literature majors.
This book uses a question-and-answer format. It poses and then answers relevant questions about Dante, background information, and The Divine Comedy. This book goes through the Inferno canto by canto. I recommend that you read the relevant section of the Inferno, then read my comments, then go back and re-read the relevant section of the Inferno. However, do what works for you. I also do the same thing for the Purgatory and the Paradise in other discussion guides.
Teachers may find this discussion guide useful. Teachers can have students read cantos from the epic poem, then teachers can ask students selected questions from this discussion guide.
G.K. Chesterton was lecturing on Dante at California’s Milbrook Junior College, when a woman who had lost her place in her volume of Dante called out, “Where the hell are we?” The class laughed, but Mr. Chesterton took the interruption with good humor, saying, “I rather like that phrase. Good Catholic expression. A Catholic doesn’t live in Milbrook or in England, but sub specie aeternitatis, and the question always is, where in hell are we? Or where in heaven are we? Or where in purgatory are we? We live in that spaceless, timeless commonwealth and the question is very important.”
Check out some FREE eBooks about good deeds (and some books for sale):
For some stories of good deeds and anecdotes, check out the rest of