The 9th Circle

Standard: RL.9-10.2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Learning Target: Students will read the second half of the Dante’s Inferno selection from our textbook, and work on an illustration of one of the circles of Hell.

Activator: A Man Who Had No Eyes Summary

Welcome back to class, everyone! Today we’re going to read more of Dante’s Inferno from our book, but this time we’re gonna go wild and read it… TOGETHER!

I know, wild, right?

Anyway, after we finish reading today, we’re actually going to get started on our writing assignment for this unit. As usual, we’re going to start with brainstorming! Now that you know who Dante considered the worst of the worst, the people in the final circle of Hell, I want you to think about who these people and what they did that was so bad. Let’s make a circle map. In the center, put the four beings that are trapped in that icy waterfall – Lucifer, Judas, Brutus, and Cassius. Now in the outer circle, write everything you know about these people. What do they all seem to have in common?


…that’s right. They’re traitors. Backstabbers. So why do you think these particular backstabbers – of all the backstabbers in history – are the worst of the worst? Certainly we can see why Lucifer, who betrayed God, would be stuck down there. And Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ, well, that makes sense too. But Butus and Cassius betrayed – who? Yup, Julius Caesar. Does that mean that when Dante wrote his Inferno, he considered Caesar to be just as important as Jesus Christ?

I want you guys to examine this question in a paragraph for me. Why do you think Dante chose to put these three people in the innermost circle of Hell?

We’ll end the day on a paragraph – keep these in your folders, and we’ll use them again next week 🙂 Tomorrow we get to watch THE SIMPSONS! Whoo!

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