Unit Plan

Dante's Inferno: Allegory, Hero's Journey, or Epic Poem? Yes!

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

Dante Alighieri's "The Inferno" is the central text in a unit designed for high school seniors. Scholars compare the Christian concept of Hell to Dante's. In addition, they examine the tale as an example of epic poetry, as an allegory, and as a model of the hero's journey. To conclude the unit, scholars create a representation of levels of the Inferno and place literary characters into a level of Hell.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Follow the unit with a lesson on Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Rappaccini's Daughter" and have class members identify the parallels in the tales
Classroom Considerations
  • Presumes learners are familiar with the Affinity Mapping Protocol
  • Class members should have completed reading Dante's "The Inferno"
  • Instructors must prepare their own lectures to review the elements of epic poetry, allegories, and the hero's journey
  • The 25-page packet includes detailed daily lessons and all necessary printouts
  • Pupils may use their notes on the presentations in the quiz that follows
  • No rubric is included for the presentations