Great Books II   Spring 2020

  Reading Questions  

February 17




Dante - Purgatorio

Focus on Cantos I-II


Boethius I

  1. What are palpable differences between the two canticles.

  2. Compare the ways that the physical spaces of Inferno & Purgatorio are organized.

  3. In the transition between Inferno and Purgatorio, what ends? what begins. How is Dante ready for Purgatory?

  4. What do these architectures teach us about God? ourselves?




  1. What is Boethius' problem?
  2. What is Lady Philosophy's diagnosis?
  3. How does Fortune work?
  4. What are the laws of Fortune? of free will?
  5. Is Fortune "just"?
  6. Is tragedy part of Fortune?
  7. How are we to be happy?
  8. What does it mean to "possess" something?