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The Inferno

The Inferno

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The Inferno

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  1. The Inferno By Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

  2. Translations • John Ciardi • • Frantz Liszt 1856 composed Dante Symphony used music to re-create emotions and ideas of Dante’s poem

  3. Rebel, Rebel • Dante’s family was a prominent and wealthy family, and he became associated with a political party known as the White Guelph party. • Eventually, the White Guelph’s enemy, the Black Guelph party, took over Florence and ordered Dante to pay a large fine which he did not feel was just. • Dante was then permanently exiled from Florence, and was told he would “burn at the stake” if he should ever return.

  4. Love is (or isn’t?) in the Air • Dante, being a member of a prominent and wealthy family, was subject to an arranged marriage to a woman named Gemma. • Dante married Gemma and had several children with her, however, he was really in love with the illustrious Beatrice.

  5. Love • Dante used Beatrice as a symbol through out his works. Beatrice -- a real woman -- became the allegorical symbol of God's love, divine revelation, Christ, salvation or a number of other interpretations. Dante only saw Beatrice a few times in his life, but she became for him a symbol of all that is good. She walks him through Paradise

  6. Exile and Death • Once Florence was under new rule, any exiled man was granted amnesty, or forgiveness, and invited back to Florence . • However, the amnesty came with conditions: men would have to pay a large fee and commit a public penance. • Dante refused and therefore died in Ravenna, Italy on the way home from a political visit to Venice. It is believed that Dante died of malaria.

  7. The Divine Comedy • The Inferno is the second book in Dante’s three part series, The Divine Comedy. • Purgatorio, Inferno, Paradiso • Inferno depicts Dante and his spiritual guide, Virgil’s journey through Hell. • Dante must travel through Hell in order to get back on the righteous path

  8. Why Called a “Comedy?” • because poems in the ancient world were classified as High ("Tragedy") or Low ("Comedy"). Low poems had happy endings and were of everyday or vulgar subjects, while High poems were for more serious matters. Dante was one of the first in the Middle Ages to write of a serious subject, the Redemption of Man, in the low and vulgar Italian language and not the Latin language.

  9. The Structure of the Divine Comedy • The Divine Comedy is made up of 100 Cantos -- 33 in each section plus one extra in The Inferno. It was written in the Italian, not Latin • The allegorical journey with Dante and characters from mythology, ancient Rome (Virgil-classical reasoning), Christian theology and "real life" Florence (Beatrice-faith). • The sinners in the Inferno are punished according to an elaborate scheme of symbolic retribution--you reap what you sow!

  10. A symbol: The number 3 • Examples: • 3 divisions of the Divine Comedy • 3 types of sins ' • Incontinence-lack of control over our passions and desires • violence- vicious and fierce behavior • fraud- deception, trickery or deceit

  11. Themes / Terms to Follow • Allegory • terzarima • Epic poem • Symbolic Retribution • Imagery • Symbolism • Allusion

  12. Important definitions! • 1. allegory- literary work with two levels of meaning—the literal and the symbolic. The literal journey of Dante’s symbolizes man’s struggle for meaning • Allegories often tell moral or religious lessons • 2. terzarima- An Italian form iambic poetry having sets of three lines, the middle line of each set riming with the first and last of the succeeding: ababcbcdc. It was invented by Dante. • Make a comparison with Shakespeare’s iambiacpentemeter. • 3. epic poem-A long narrative poem tells the tales of a hero

  13. Terms • Symbolic Retribution- as they have sinned, so are they punished • Imagery- use of the five senses in writing • Symbolism- something that stands for something else- e.g. dove=peace • Allusion- reference to Biblical, mythology, or other literal works

  14. At the Bell Comment on this statement: • Human reason is self-limited


  16. 7 Deadly Sins • The sinners in Hell are all guilty of one or more of the seven deadly sins. Four of of the circles of hell are devoted to punishing these sins in their varous manifestations. (Circle 2-lust, 3-gluttony, 4-greed, 5-wrath). The remaining circles do not correspond exactly to the seven deadly sins.

  17. 7 Deadly sins • In the 6th Century AD, the Catholic Pope Gregory the Great listed the the seven deadly sins (vices) are as follows: • Lust • Gluttony • Greed • Sloth Dante defined sloth as the "failure to love God with all one's heart, all one's mind and all one's soul." • Anger • Envy • Pride the sin of pride is considered the first and foremost sin. It is the sin which led to Lucifer's downfall and which plagues mankind in various forms. Indeed pride is the ultimate sin from which all the others arise. • Each of the seven deadly sins has an opposite among the corresponding seven holy virtues: chastity, abstinence, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility.

  18. The VestibuleCanto I Location: The Dark Wood •   Dante, in mid-life, finds himself lost in a dark and treacherous wood. It is Easter time -- Good Friday. In the distance he glimpses what he thinks is a way out, but immediately he is confronted with three wild beasts -- a leopard, a lion and a she-wolf. These creatures symbolize three types of sin: • the leopard symbolizes deceit, • the lion represents cruelty • the she-wolf represents unrestrained passions/greed. • Dante stands frozen in fear when suddenly the figure of Virgil appears. Virgil explains that he has been "hired" to be the spiritual guide for Dante through the terrors of both the Inferno and the Purgatorio.

  19. OVERALL ALLEGORY • Dante wants us to understand that his life’s journey (physical) is like our own. This experience of moving from dark to light ( spiritual) is common to everyone.

  20. Canto I • The only canto that occurs on Earth • The mood of Dante is gloomy • Virgil eventually states he will leave Dante with a worthier spirit--Beatrice • Begins in the Lenten Season (Easter) • Rich allegories in Canto I • We learn that the ultimate goal of the journey is to reach the Mt. of Joy--Heaven • Dante strays from the “straight road” It probably symbolizes apure spirit • The images in Canto I reflect that of terror

  21. Read pg. 659Leopard=allegory of deceit

  22. Lion= allegory of pride or cruelty

  23. Wolf • She-Wolf = literal animal • Allegory-GREED Dante • Knows that many have been destroyed by their greed This might symbolize Dante’s Political ambition— Can consume all judgment Modern ex?

  24. Canto I • Line 111-112 • Why might souls be willing to submit to pain? • Purgatory- where Dante will travel to after Hell. • What do you know about the state of purgatory?

  25. Virgil • Why him? • Dante values literature Roman poetic model • Virgil's famous piece- the Aeneid which tells the story of the founding of Rome. • He is Dante’s spiritual guide • Overall Allegory is the journey as a symbol for life. Dante divides the poem in 3- travels from Hell (sin) to Purgatory (penitence/ purging of sin) to Paradise (Heaven)

  26. AT THE BELL • Choose an animal that best represents you. Attach an idea, symbol or emotion to it.

  27. Answer 6 questions: • Canto I begins with Dante’s recogniction of himself as absorbed with _____________________ and straying from _______________________ • How does this epic poem begin in medias res? • Line 100 is a literary example of _____________________ READ ALL THE NUMBERS AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH PAGE. Answer: • What do scholars think the three beasts foreshadow? • Who are the “lying gods”? • Why can’t Virgil enter Heaven?

  28. Parallel Structure • Parallel structure refers to the matching of grammatical elements within a sentence. A sentence structured with grammatically parallel elements will most likely be clear, stylish and balanced. • It’s all about the ear!--pleasing rhythm of the sentence, the logical balance of ideas and the repetition of form. • Simply "match" the appropriate structures to create a delightful sentence! Poetry Out Loud? Your research paper? Someone used parallel structure and I commented on it Who?????? • Handout

  29. Complete Class work -Handout 6 sentences • Possible answers for parallel structure exercise: • 1. Dante became lost in the woods, was threatened by three animals and was overcome with fear. • 2. The leopard represents malice, the lion represents violence, and the she-wolf represents unchecked passions. • 3. Dante was terrified of the dark wood, the three beasts, and the swarming insects. • 4. Virgil is a symbol of reason and Beatrice is a symbol of divine love. • 5. The sinners in the Vestibule are pursued by wasps, maggots and bees. • 6. Dante also employs the character of Beatrice in the poem. She symbolizes the divine love of God, the power of faith, and comfort of hope. • 7. The sinners in the Vestibule are tortured by insects who chase them, sting them, and suck the pus out of their sores.

  30. AT THE BELL • What person either real or fictional might you choose to guide you on a difficult but important journey?

  31. Canto II • Dante is terrified and reluctant to make the journey. Virgil explains that he has been sent by Beatrice to aid Dante. • …not in our book

  32. Canto IIICircle One: Limbo • Dante finds himself across the great river • Begins by seeing “The Gates of Hell” (physical allegory) symbolizing limbo—neither in hell nor in Heaven(spiritual) • This circle is different from all the rest that he will visit. --no punishment or torture. This place is inhabited by the "good pagans." -- souls of those who died unbaptized; their only pain is that they will never see the face of God.. The souls who are neither good NOR evil are chasing a blank banner while hornets and wasps are chasing them lapping up their blood.

  33. CANTO III CIRCLE I LIMBO • Dante feels pity and grossed out • The ferryman Charon takes him and Virgil across the river called Acheron • In this first Circle of Hell Dante sees the “pagans” (those who died without knowing Christ) • The great poets such as Homer and Ovid are mentioned here. Dante admired their writings, so he writes them in as literary examples of allusion. Also, if those who are in this circle represent those who died not knowing Christ, it makes sense that would fit both Homer and Ovid, literally. Even though Ovid lived during 15 years at the same time Jesus lived, Jesus did not start his ministry until he was 30! Homer (8th century B.C., Ovid (43 B.C. - 17 C.E.)

  34. Read pg. 665-671Canto III Circle I • Hell is symbolized by the “grim shore” on which the sinners find themselves • The sights and sounds(physical) are an allegory for the dark side of the human soul(spiritual)

  35. Other Circles NOT IN OUR BOOK • Dante and Virgil pass on to Circle Three to view the punishment of the gluttonous. • In the Fourth Circle Dante and Virgil see two groups of sinners-- the greedy, avaricious hoarders and the immoderate and excessive wasters. These sinners are condemned to roll great boulders towards each other. When they meet, they divide and begin again. Thus greed and miserliness punish each other.

  36. Other circles NOT IN OUR BOOK fyi • Circle Five -- the Wrathful and the Sullen • In Circle Six Dante sees many strange and disturbing sights. Dante has a close call with Medusa, most dreaded of the infernal furies. Dante beholds the sufferings of the Heretics, those who did violence against God, as they suffer in fiery tombs.

  37. OTHER CIRCLES- use for your paper • circles Circle One - Those in limboCircle Two - The lustfulCircle Three - The gluttonousCircle Four - The hoardersCircle Five - The wrathfulCircle Six - The hereticsCircle Seven - The violentRing 1. Murderers, robbers, and plunderersRing 2. Suicides and those harmful to the worldRing 3. Those harmful against God, nature, and art, as well as usurersCircle Eight - The FraudulentBowge (Trench) I. Panderers and SeducersBowge II. FlatterersBowge III. SimoniacsBowge IV. SorcerersBowge V. BarratorsBowge VI. HypocritesBowge VII. ThievesBowge VIII. CounselorsBowge IX. Sowers of DiscordBowge X. FalsifiersCircle Nine - TraitorsRegion i: Traitors to their kindredRegion ii: Traitors to their countryRegion iii: Traitors to their guestsRegion iv: Traitors to their lords On Easter Sunday, Dante emerges from Hell. Through his travels, he has found his way to God and is able, once more, to look upon the stars.

  38. Grammar from Hell • Grammarians use the term fused sentence to describe two sentences that are run together without an appropriate mark of punctuation. • A sentence with a comma splice refers to two sentences incorrectly joined (or spliced together) with a comma.

  39. Grammar Lesson • Here are some examples: • Comma splice: Dante has a close call with Medusa, Dante then beholds the sufferings of the heretics. • Fused sentence: Dante has a close call with Medusa Dante then beholds the sufferings of the heretics

  40. Comma Splice/Fused • These errors can be corrected in several different ways. • Two sentences: • Dante has a close call with Medusa. Dante then beholds the sufferings of heretics. • Sentence with a coordinating conjunction and comma: • Dante has a close call with Medusa, and then he beholds the sufferings of heretics. • Sentence with an introductory subordinate clause: • After he endures a close call with Medusa, Dante beholds the suffering of the heretics. • Sentence with a semicolon: • Dante has a close call with Medusa; he then beholds the suffering of the heretics.

  41. Canto VCircle 2- The sin of Lust • Circle Two: The Lustful • In order to pass to Circle Two Dante and Virgil must pass byMinos the great Judge of theUnderworld. Minos evaluates each sinner as he appears before him and coils his tail to reveal the sinner's assigned circle. • Two coils mean Circle Two, three coils mean Circle Three and so on. Dante now views the punishment of the Carnal and Lustful. ALLEGORY: These are sinners who let their passions sweep them away in life,(physical) now, in death so they whirl about in a storm (spiritual) they are condemned to be "swept away" for all eternity. A dirty, smelly, powerful and tempestuous wind batters and whirls these sinners at a fervid speed. • Here Dante sees such memorable characters as Dido, Queen of Carthage; Helen, the beauty of Troy; and Cleopatra, the great ruler of Egypt. In honor of Dante's visit, the winds cease for a short spell -- long enough for Dante to hear the sad and famous story of the lovers Paulo and Francesca. Francesca tells him the story of her doomed love affair with Paolo da Rimini, her husband’s brother; the relationship has landed both in Hell.

  42. Story of Francesca and Paola • She relates to him how love was her undoing: bound in marriage to an old and deformed man, she eventually fell in love with Paolo da Rimini, her husband’s younger brother. One day, as she and Paolo sat reading an Arthurian legend about the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, each began to feel that the story spoke to their own secret love. When they came to a particularly romantic moment in the story, they could not resist kissing. Francesca’s husband quickly discovered their transgression and had the young lovers killed. Now Paolo and Francesca are doomed to spend eternity in the Second Circle of Hell. Overcome with pity, Dante faints again.

  43. Canto V • Direct characterization --the writer directly tells what the character is like • Direct characterization is found in Canto V when Minos sits, grinning, grotesque and hale Indirect characterization— the writer reveals information through thoughts, words, actions

  44. Canto VReveals Dante’s attitude toward the souls who are punished for giving into their lust • What does he think? • They should be punished? • They should NOT be punished? • Why not? What do you think? Clinton? Charlie Sheen? These souls experience great pain for their lust

  45. Canto V • Does Dante the speaker reflect the views of Dante the Poet? OR • Is Dante the speaker an example of most of the sins condemned by Dante the poet?

  46. Canto V • Dante, the poet is very sympathetic towards the passion of Paolo and Francesca. Why?

  47. Other circles not in book • In Circle Seven Dante sees the punishments of the Violent. Circle Seven is divided into three parts with each section providing appropriate torments for different types of violence. • This circle refers to the politics of Dantes day…

  48. Commonly Confused Words… Do you know the punishment for this? • One of the trickiest problems for many students is the correct use of the words affect and effect. Let's look at their meanings: • Affect is, for our purposes, always a verb. (There is a specialized use of the word affect as a noun in the field of psychology, and if you become a psych major in college you'll have to deal with it.) For now, however, remember: affect is a verb that means (1) to act on, impress, change (2) to feign or pretend

  49. You go to circle 8! • Here are some examples: • 1. Dante was greatly affected by what he saw in Circle Seven. • 2. The boiling blood of the Phelgethon River affected the sinners immensely; they writhed in agony. • 3. Dante's descriptions affect the reader with vivid and terrifying power. • 4. While reading The Inferno out loud, the teacher affected an Italian accent.