Great Books II   Spring 2017

  Reading Questions  

March 6




Dante - Purgatorio

Focus on Cantos X - XXIII

Biweekly Writing for 3.9.17

Write your own Purgatorio Canto of at least 99 lines, based on the sin of your own choosing - DO NOT use any of the sins found in Dante's Purgatorio.


Book IV










  1. Explicate the ingredients of a terrace of penitence.
  2. Which terrace is most interesting?
  3. How is it determined that a penitent is ready to ascend from their terrace?
  4. What is the difference between penitence and contrapasso?
  5. What is the connection between each of the terrace sins and Fortune?


  1. According to Boethius, does Satan possess will? power?
  2. Draw a picture to depict the relationship between fate & providence.
  3. What core assumptions lie beneath Boethius' claim that the wicked are unhappy when they unjustly go scot free?
  4. How does Boethius' notion of evil differ from that of Dante? Augustine?