Morality Unit 15
Students answer questions from Cantos VI, lines 7-36, and XIV, lines 19-42, with their partners. First complete Canto VI questions, then Canto XIV. Students think-pair-share each section to begin class discussions.
How does the third level compare and contrast with the previous levels?
What images dominate the scene?
On the second level, Dante experiences profound pity for Paolo and Francesca. What attitudes does he suggest in the description of the third level?
Who is Cerberus? What is his role?
What punishments characterize this level?
In what ways does the punishment match the sin?
What images does Dante emphasize?
How does the imagery differ from that in earlier excerpts?
Based on these passages, what patterns do you observe in Dante’s descriptions of Inferno’s levels?
Conclude the lesson by having students explore some of the questions raised by this study of Canto V in an essay analyzing Francesca’s character, both as perceived by Dante the Pilgrim and as perceived by past and present readers of the poem. There is useful background information on Dante’s portrayal of Paolo and Francesca online. Stories similar to Francesca’s can be found online also.
Students should concentrate on answering the essential questions presented in this unit as they study Francesca’s character.
Grade according to students’ inclusion of textual evidence to support assertions and inclusion of personal connections to events. Also grade on students’ understanding of morality changes from the past to the present.