GOING THROUGH HELL: THE SELF-HELP SECRETS OF DANTE’S INFERNO
Dr Jamie McGregor, lecturer, Department of English, Rhodes University
This course offers an irreverent view of one of the pillars of Western literature, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, focusing primarily on its first part, the Inferno, and taking as their premise that the poem can, and indeed should, be read as a medieval self-help book – with the Nine Circles of Hell, for example, serving as object lessons in the ill effects of self-indulgent and anti-social behaviour. The first lecture finds Dante Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita (or ‘midway through the journey of this life’), following his guide Virgil through Hell-gate, and on into Limbo. The remaining lectures then chart his downward spiral through the principal subdivisions of Hell, respectively covering the sins of Incontinence, Violence and Deceit, before forecasting his return to grace in the Purgatorio.
2. Upper hell
3. Middle hell
4. Lower hell
Dante Alighieri. Inferno. Any edition.