The Vita Nuova:

Dates: Year in which the Commedia is set. Danteís birth and death. Bís death. Year of Dís exile.

The three basic elements of courtly love. Why this doctrine of romantic or courtly love was at odds with orthodox Catholic teaching. Stages of romantic love. Troubadour distinction between Pure Love, Mixed Love, False Love. Something about the Stilnovisti (or New Style) of the Italian wing of the romantic love tradition ( knight with a lady vs. young scholar in love with an angelic presence)

The general plot line of the Vita Nuova. How Beatrice affected Dante. The three main canzoni which structure the work (esp.Donne chíavete intelleto díamore). Plus the poem: Love and the Gentle Heart are one. Dís dreams of the Lord of Love.
Hell -- from the Dark Wood through Upper Hell.

Why the poem is a Comedy. How Dante expects the Comedy to be read: The Fourfold Method:
"Litera res gesta docet. Quid credas allegoria. Moralis quid agas. Quo tendas anagogia."

How to translate the literal level into the other symbolic levels -- e.g. from Hell as a state of being in the afterlife to how we by our choices and actions create Hell in this life. How translate "punishment" aspect. How translate "eternity" aspect. Why is it needed to go through Hell in this life? In general, method needed to read the Comedy in a philosophical way -- archetypal thinking + going back and forth between Dís world and our world.

Differences between sin, moral offense, crime. Features of the medieval view of venial and moral sins. Conditions for a mortal (or death-dealing) sin. Danteís method of classifying the types of sins in Hell -- leopard (lonza), lion (leone) and wolf (lupa).

The nature of the Dark Wood, the three beasts, the sending of Virgil as guide, the Gates of Hell, the people in the Vestibule of Hell. Limbo. Circles 2, 3,4, 5. -- the nature of the sin -- how Dante understands it and how he reveals by the "punishment" something of what the sin really is -- its true nature and consequences. How to compare and contrast different circles. Paolo and Francesca incident.
Lower Hell:

City of Dis -- literally and symbolically. Why sins in lower Hell are more serious than sins in Upper Hell. Circles 6 and 7. Nature of heresy. Types of violence in river, withered wood, and burning sand. What the wrongness is in the actions of Blasphemers, Sodomites and Usurers. If nature of the act changes or reason for why the act is thought to be destructive changes, can moral assessment of act change? Contrasts between these circle and actions "punished" in circles of Upper Hell.

The Great Barrier -- Waterfall. Geryon. The ten ditches of Circle 8 -- Caiaphas, Ulysses and Diomede, Mohammad. The undercutting of each medium of exchange which makes up the conditions for human communal life in City or in self. Technical definition of manipulation and its relation to and exploitation. Difference between Circle 8 and Circle 9.
The Giants. The frozen lake with its subdivisions. The nature of deepening evil. Treason, betrayal of those to whom we are bound by special bonds. Ugolin and Roger. Evil itself in the figure of Satan -- Judas, Brutus and Cassius -- what the final vision of evil tells us about the roots and fruits of evil -- anti-life, anti-light, anti-warmth, antitrust, anti-hope, anti-love. How the whole of Hell is a manifestation of love corrupted.

Dante and Virgilís climb "up" to the Southern Hemisphere and how they emerge on Easter Sunday morning at the Island of Mount Purgatory.

"We climbed and thence
Came forth to look once more upon the stars." last lines of the Inferno

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