DANTE’S INFERNO. English Teaching Activity designed to support the Language/ Literature class. Dante’s Inferno. Objectives: To discuss Dante Alighieri’s idea of Hell. To have the students to reflect about their values and deeds.
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DANTE’S INFERNO English Teaching Activity designed to support the Language/ Literature class
Dante’s Inferno • Objectives: • To discuss Dante Alighieri’s idea of Hell. • To have the students to reflect about their values and deeds. • To have the students to reorganize Dante’s idea and create a new version of it. • To scan a written text. • Topic: Dante’s literary work “The Divine Comedy”.
Dante’s Inferno • Target group: 3rd -4th year High school students • Skill: reading comprehension and speaking • Materials: handouts, an illustration of Dante’s version of Hell, pencil, cardboard paper. • Time : 2 hours
Dante’s Inferno • Grammatical structures: simple present tense, wh clauses, ordinal numbers, irregular verbs and linking words.
Glossary • Inferno: the first part of Dante Alighieri's poem, the Divine Comedy, which chronicles Dante's journey to God, and is made up of the Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) • CIRCLES OF HELL: places in Hell where sinners are punished according to their crimes. • Virgil: A poet who lived in ancient Rome between 70 and 19 B.C., considered one of the great poets of world literature
Glossary • Hornets: a large wasp (= type of flying insect) which can give you a bad sting. • Lust: : a very strong sexual desire. • Lurk: :toexist although it is not always noticeable. • Wrath: extreme anger. • Cesspool: :alarge underground hole or container which is used for collecting and storing excrement, urine and dirty water. • Struggle: toexperience difficulty and make a very great effort in order to do something.
Warming up • The teacher introduces the topic of the lesson by asking the students the folowing ( 5 minutes): • Do you think Heaven really exist? How about Hell? • Have you heard about Dante Alighieri? • Do you know how he describes his journey to Hell? • Then the teacher tells the students about Dante Alighieri and his journey through Hell in order to get their attention and explains that Dante had the poet Virgil as his guide in Hell ( 5 minutes).
Presentation • Pre- reading : • Step 1.- display the illustration of inferno on the board and deliver the handouts. The vocabulary that students might find difficult is also explained (5 minutes). • While- reading : • Step 1.-ask the students to read the text and answer the questions individually (20 minutes). • Step 2: ask the students to make groups of 3 and compare their answers ( 10 minutes).
Post- reading and evaluation • Post- reading • Step 1.-The teacher checks the answers with the whole class and ask them if they agree or share Dante’s concept of Hell (10 minutes). • Evaluation • Step 1.-After that, the teacher asks the students to make groups of 4 and draw their own version of hell on the cardboard paper and to present their work to the rest of the class. They also have to choose someone as a guide in Hell ( like Virgil), explain why. THe students have to decide what sins are the worst and what punishment will be given to those who commit those crimes( 20 minutes). • Step 2.-The teacher has the groups to present their work to the rest of the class (15 minutes).
Follow up activity • The students may visit the following website if they want to make a quizz which rates their sins and places them in a circle of Hell according to Dante’s version. • http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-test.mv
Text • Dante’s Alighieri poem “Inferno” begins when Dante has lost his path and now wanders fearfully through the forest on the evening of Good Friday in the year 1300. The sun shines down on a mountain above him, and he attempts to climb up to it but finds his way blocked by three beasts—a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf. Frightened and helpless, Dante returns to the dark wood. Here he encounters the ghost of Virgil, the great Roman poet, who has come to guide Dante back to his path, to the top of the mountain. Virgil says that their path will take them through Hell and that they will eventually reach Heaven, where Dante’s beloved Beatrice awaits. He adds that it was Beatrice, along with two other holy women, who, seeing Dante lost in the wood, sent Virgil to guide him. • Virgil leads Dante through the gates of Hell, marked by the haunting inscription “abandon all hope, you who enter here” . They enter the outlying region of Hell, the Ante-Inferno, where the souls who in life could not commit to either good or evil now must run in a futile chase after a blank banner, day after day, while hornets bite them and worms lap their blood.
Text • Dante witnesses their suffering with repugnance and pity. The ferryman Charon then takes him and his guide across the river Acheron, the real border of Hell. • The First Circle of Hell, Limbo, houses pagans, including Virgil and many of the other great writers and poets of antiquity, who died without knowing of Christ. • After meeting Horace, Ovid, Dante continues into the Second Circle of Hell, reserved for the sin of Lust. At the border of the Second Circle, the monster Minos lurks, assigning condemned souls to their punishments. Inside the Second Circle, Dante watches as the souls of the Lustful swirl about in a terrible storm. • In the Third Circle of Hell, the Gluttonous must lie in mud and endure arain of filth and excrement.
Text • In the Fourth Circle, the Avaricious are made to charge at one another with giant boulders. • The Fifth Circle of Hell contains the river Styx, a swampy, fetid cesspool in which the Wrathful spend eternity struggling with one another. • The Sixth Circle of Hell houses the Heretics, and there Dante encounters a rival political leader named Farinata. • A deep valley leads into the Seventh Circle of Hell, where those who were violent toward others spend eternity in a river of boiling blood. They also encountered those who were violent toward themselves (the Suicides) and those who were violent toward God (the Blasphemers).
Text • Then Virgil and Dante across arrive at the Eighth Circle of Hell, where the Hypocrites must forever walk in circles, wearing heavy robes made of lead and the thieves sit trapped in a pit of vipers, becoming vipers themselves when bitten; to regain their form, they must bite another thief in turn. • Virgil and Dante proceed to the Ninth Circle of Hell, Cocytus, a great frozen lake where , those who betrayed their kin stand frozen up to their necks in the lake’s ice. A huge, mist-shrouded form lurks ahead, and Dante approaches it. It is the three-headed giant Lucifer, plunged waist-deep into the ice. His body pierces the center of the Earth, where he fell when God hurled him down from Heaven. Each of Lucifer’s mouths chews one of history’s three greatest sinners: Judas, the betrayer of Christ, and Cassius and Brutus the betrayers of Julius Caesar. • Virgil leads Dante on a climb down Lucifer’s massive form, holding on to his frozen tufts of hair .Eventually, the poets reach the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, and travel from there out of Hell and back onto Earth. They emerge from Hellon Easter morning, just before sunrise.
Questions • 1. On what Christian holy day does Inferno begin? • (A) Good Friday • (B) Christmas • (C) The Feast of All Saints • (D) Michaelmas • 2.-Which group of sinners must remain submerged in the swampy Styx? • (A) The Uncommitted • (B) The Traitors to Their Kin • (C) The Heretics • (D) The wrathful
Questions • 3.-How many circles constitute Dante’s Hell? • (A) Five • (B) Seven • (C) Eleven • (D) Nine • 4.-What words can be found above the Gate of Hell? • (A) abandon all hope, you who enter here • (B) and justice for all • (C) in the name of god, amen • (D) remaining frogs
Questions • 5.-Where in Hell does Virgil reside? • (A) Malebolge • (B) The Styx • (C) Limbo • (D) The Ante-Inferno • 6.-Which river must souls cross before they enter Hell? • (A) The Avillon • (B)The Acheron • (C) The Styx • (D) The Lethe
Questions • 7.-Where does Beatrice reside after death? • (A) Hell • (B) Heaven • (C) Purgatory • (D) Nirvana
Bibliography • http://school.discoveryeducation.com/lessonplans/programs/dantesinferno/ • www.sparknotes.com • http://web.eku.edu/flash/inferno/ • http://www.4degreez.com/misc/dante-inferno-test.mv