Dante Unit: Three Responses
Sunday, November 18, 2012
In the second half of this unit, there will be three assignments which you may do in any order, as long as you meet the three scheduled deadlines: Wednesday, November 28; Wednesday, December 5, and Wednesday, December 12.
1. Analysis: write a three-paragraph essay about a sin.
Choose a sin that is punished in the Inferno.
Paragraph 1: Describe the sin and the punishment.
Paragraph 2: Consider why Dante may have assigned this particular punishment to this particular sin. Do you find the punishment appropriate? Does it “fit the crime”?
Paragraph 3: Where do we see this sin in the world today? In your opinion, does this sin affect modern society? Is this sin condemned today?
Minimum 300 words
2. Artistic response: draw a scene.
The scene must be of a specific moment in the narrative and it must be captioned with an appropriate quotation. Most people draw either in black and white or with colored pencils, but other media are also welcome. I expect it to show thought and care.
3. Creative writing: write a poem or monologue.
Write in the voice of a specific sinner or a specific guardian. Describe your situation, your regrets, and your wishes. Possibly describe this pilgrim and his guide who come walking past you. Are you resigned? penitent? rebellious?
4. Extra Credit: Create your own map of Hell.
You may rely on the many maps both in your text and on the internet, but you must supply some of your own touches. This could be worth from 10 to 40 quiz points, depending on the quality.
Finally . . .
The final week of the unit will be devoted to writing a major essay on a theme from the Inferno. I expect original thinking, clear writing and appropriate support from the text. Length may vary from 700 to 1200 words. Many students have chosen to include this essay with their college applications. I will give you a list of possible topics, and you may also choose your own.