How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?
The presentations that were given today included the life and career of Dante, Christian Theology, earlier and later depictions of Hell and a section on Numerology.
The first presentation given was about the life and career of Dante. Throughout this presentation we were given information about Dante’s early life, his relationship status, his children, his exile and some of his political beliefs. This information helped me gain some knowledge into why Dante had depicted certain people (an older pope) in certain circles of hell. Getting a better insight into his exile also helped to understand Dante a little better. The next presentation was on Christian Theology, although I thought this would give me a large insight into Dante’s Inferno and why things were the way they were. However the group found that really, Christian Theologists mainly just nit-picked at the circles of Hell Dante had put certain people. The third presentation is the one I feel really helped with my understanding of cultural in Dante’s Inferno. Although this presentation gave the idea that The Divine Comedy was not greatly religious, it became quite clear that Dante used a variety of the same ideas that are shown in both the Hell of the Old Testament and the Hell of the New Testament. The use of a guide in almost all of the depictions of Hell helped me understand more why Dante had his guide through Hell, as I had never really grasped what significance he was other than pass Dante over at the end of Hell. Almost all depictions of Hell show it as a dark place, with animals/demons being the ones to deliver the punishments. This made it clearer as to why Dante had different beings in different circles of his Hell. Although I don’t think this really gave much idea into why Dante has split his Hell into nine circles. Though the final presentation, Numerology, proved interesting, this did not inform me of anything that I was not already aware of in relation to Dante’s Inferno, although it did give me some information on Christian Virtues and Carnal Virtues.
I feel my understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of Dante’s Inferno have been greatly improved after the Interactive Oral, as it gave me the ideas to better understand the Divine Comedy.