Independent study (15 contact hours, 1 contact hour: 45’, of lesson and 30 completely independently by the student)
Rationale and Description
This course, taught in English, will examine a selection of representative canti, in translation, from Dante’s Inferno. The study of the canti will include identification of elements of Medieval thought, values, and imagery, as well as the examination of Dante’s representation of Florence and its politics, and leading historical and literary figures of Medieval Italy. Students will also assess essential elements of architecture and figurative art during visits to sites that have a particular significance in Dante’s life and work, such as Dante’s house; the Baptistery of San Giovanni; Santa Croce; and the Bargello. Students will accompany their readings of the canti with secondary literature on Medieval Florence and complete study questions on this literature.
Philosophy and Approach
The approach in the classroom is based on active learning. The class will be a combination of lecture/discussion, in-class exercises, out-of-class exercises, visits to the most important place, presentations and personal reflections. This will provide the student with multiple ways to learn about entrepreneurial concepts related to Italian business excellence.
To enable students to develop the skills necessary to understand the metaphors and symbolisms of Dante’s Inferno correctly. Specifically, the goals of this course are to improve students’ performance in the areas listed below:
- Acquire knowledge of the most important themes of the first Cantica of the Inferno.
- Analyze symbolism and metaphors
- Critically examine the selected canti.
- Acquire knowledge of Medieval Florence as context for Dante’s writing.
· Visit the most significant sites in Dante’s life.
List of possible program contents
l Introduction to Dante’s life – Florence and Politics – Guelph-Ghibellins conflict – Exile and death. Reading, summary and analysis of Canto I -The dark forest and the three beasts that impede Dante’s ascent - Metaphors and symbolism -Reading, summary and analysis of Canto II – Invocation of the Muses – Virgil’s explanation that he has been sent to help Dante by three Ladies of Heaven -
l Reading, summary and analysis of Canto III – The inscription on the Gate of Hell - The Ante-Inferno, where the shades of those who lived without praise and without blame now intermingle with the neutral angels -Reading, summary and analysis of Canto V– The second circle of Hell, where the Lustful are forever blown around by violent storms – Paolo and Francesca – Francesca’s tale of their love and death.
l -Reading, summary and analysis of Canto VI – The Third circle, where the Gluttonous, supine, are battered by cold and filthy rain and tormented by Cerberus – Ciacco’s Prophecy concerning Florence – Reading, summary and analysis of Canto IX – The three Furies, invoking Medusa – Analysis of Dante’s character: the insecurity and the wisdom – The arch-heretics.
l Reading, summary and analysis of Canto X – The Sixth circle: The Heretics. The tombs of the Epicureans – Epicureans’s Philosophy - Farinata degli Uberti and his prediction. – Guido Cavalcanti – The inability of the damned to see the present, although they can forsee the future. - Reading, summary and analysis of Canto XIII - The seventh circle: the Violent against themselves (Suicides) and against their Possessions (Squanderers) – Pier della Vigna – The old and the new patron of Florence.
l Reading, summary and analysis of Canto XIX – The Eighth circle, where the Simonists – The selling of indulgences – The corruption of the Church - Reading, summary and analysis of Canto XXI – Political Corruption –The list of the demons assigned by Malacoda, the chief of the Malebranche, to escort Dante and Virgil
l Reading, summary and analysis of Canto XXIV – Still the Eighth circle, sixth Bolgia (ditch): The Thieves. Similarity between nature and climate – Difficult passage to the seventh Bolgia - The phoenix. -Reading, summary and analysis of Canto XXVI – Seventh Bolgia: The Deceivers– Dante’s invective against Florence - The "fireflies" metaphor - Ulysses and Diomedes in one shared flame- The Trojan Horse.
l Reading, summary and analysis of Canto XXXIII – The Ninth circle: The story of “Conte” Ugolino– Dante’s Invective against Pisa - Reading, summary and analysis of Canto XXXIV – The Giudecca – Lucifer, emperor of that kingdom and his three mouths: Giuda, Bruto and Cassio – Descent of Dante and Virgilio down Lucifer’s body to the southern hemisphere.
l -Visit to the Bargello Museum
l -Visit to the Church of Santa Margherita de’ Cerchi, Dante’s Church and Visit to Dante’s House
l -Visit to Santa Croce.