The Inferno


The hero and his journey: How does the portrayal of the traveler in hell, Dante, compare with heroes and their journeys in other cultures or in our culture today? Provide some examples of Dante the hero’s experiences and consider the outcome of his journey.

Start by introducing, quoting, and discussing the following passage:

‘When we read how the longed-for smile

was kissed by so renowned a lover, this man,

who never shall be parted from me

‘all trembling, kissed me on my mouth.

A Galeotto was the book and he that wrote it.

That day we read in it no further.’

While the one spirit said this

the other wept, so that for pity

I swooned as if in death. (Canto V).

Select another relevant passage of your own choosing from the Inferno that shows Dante’s response to a moment in his hero’s journey (the lines of poetry, not a summary). Choose carefully, thinking about how these two passages might speak to overarching themes and the bolded text in the Purpose, above.

How do the two passages illustrate a conclusion about Dante’s journey in the Inferno, and what does it signify that the journey is allegorical? You might want to sketch out your initial thoughts in lists, a concept map, or whatever note format helps you the most.

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