Great Books II   Spring 2017

  Reading Questions  

January 30




Dante - Inferno

Read one Canto aloud each day.

  Augustine (IX-X)
Focus on XV-XXII
  1. Explicate each contrapasso in circle 7: blasphemers, usurers, & sodomites.

  2. Why is sodomy a sin of violence?

  3. What are the obsessions for fame - i.e. immortality project - for each of the following groups:  Heretics, Suicidals, Sodomites.

  4. Why is hell round?

  5. Why is there a great waterfall separating violence and fraud?

  6. Are the sins concentrically dependent?  That is, can we say that all sins of incontinence contain some form of violence and that all violence contains a form of fraud?

  7. What lessons does Dante learn from the a) flatterers, b) soothsayers?

  8. Why does Dante place the Malebranche here?


Contrapasso Posters






Canto Ingredients


  1. What affect does Monica's death have on Augustine?
  2. In his dialogue "Meno", Plato says: "There is no teaching, but only recollection." What would Augustine say about this statement?
  3. Why are we lost? What is the root problem?
  4. What is the relationship between self and memory?
  5. Does Augustine ever experience contrapasso?