E491 DANTE ALIGHIERI QUESTIONS

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Assigned: From Il Convivio (249-50); "Letter to Can Grande" (251-52).

From Il Convivio, Book 2, Chapter 1

1. How do Dante's comments about interpretation (249-50) compare to those of Thomas Aquinas (243-46)?

From "Letter to Can Grande"

2. Choose a passage from the Bible and offer your own brief "fourfold exegesis." Alternately, offer a brief multi-level interpretation of any passage from any text. (general question)

3. If you have read all or part of The Divine Comedy, briefly illustrate how Dante follows his understanding of interpretation in his own work. In other words, find a passage that you believe signifies on more than one level. (general question)

4. Do you suppose that Augustine and Aquinas would approve of Dante's willingness to defend figurative language for vernacular, rather than sacred, literature? Why or why not? (general question)

Edition: Leitch, Vincent B., ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 1st ed. New York: Norton, 2001. ISBN 0-393-97429-4.