Great Books II   Spring 2020

  Reading Questions  

February 6




Dante - Inferno

Read one Canto aloud each day.

  Augustine (IX-X)

Focus on XXII-XXV


  1. Why is hypocrisy at the cusp of the Malabolgia? What do the sins of fraud above/below hypocrisy have in common?
  2. Analyze the contrapasso of the thieves and serpents in Canto XXIV-V.
  3. How 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?
  4. How does Dante use the idea of schism?
  5. Why does Dante place the Malebranche here?




  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?