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Video Information and Comprehension Questions

Dante's Inferno

The following questions appear onscreen in the video. Feel free to integrate them into your lesson plan as needed.

Questions to consider before watching the video:
  • What is sin? Throughout history, religions and cultures have defined sin in different ways. As you watch the program, consider how Dante, a 14th-century poet and philosopher, regarded sin.
  • What roles do personal choice and the soul play in Dante's explanation of sin? Do you agree or disagree with him? Questions to consider after watching the video:
  • Dante wrote that all hope should be abandoned at the gates of hell. Explain the historical and personal contexts of his writings.
  • Why do you think he chose the metaphor of hell to depict life during the Middle Ages?Suggested activity
  • How would you interpret Dante's nine circles of hell and the inhabitants? If you were writing Dante's Inferno, what would your nine circles of hell be like? Write an essay that includes details of your "inferno."