Lecture 5 - Inferno IX, X, XI

author: Giuseppe Mazzotta, Department of Italian, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 7, 2010,   recorded: September 2008,   views: 3198
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

See Also:

Download Video - generic video source Download yaleital310f08_mazzotta_lec05_01.mov (Video - generic video source 869.1 MB)

Download Video Download yaleital310f08_mazzotta_lec05_01.flv (Video 1.0 GB)

Download Video Download yaleital310f08_mazzotta_lec05_01_640x360_h264.mp4 (Video 232.8 MB)

Help icon Streaming Video Help

Related Open Educational Resources

Related content

Report a problem or upload files

If you have found a problem with this lecture or would like to send us extra material, articles, exercises, etc., please use our ticket system to describe your request and upload the data.
Enter your e-mail into the 'Cc' field, and we will keep you updated with your request's status.
Lecture popularity: You need to login to cast your vote.


In this lecture, Professor Mazzotta discusses Inferno IX-XI. An impasse at the entrance to the City of Dis marks Virgil's first failure in his role as guide (Inferno IX). The invocation of Medusa by the harpies that descend while they wait for divine aid elicits Dante's first address to the reader. The question of literary mediation, posed in the previous lecture in the context of Inferno V, is explored further, and the distinction Dante draws between the "allegory of poets" and the "allegory of theologians" is introduced. Inferno X is read with a view to the uniqueness of the sin it deals with - heresy. The philosophical errors of the shades encountered here, Farinata and Cavalcante, are tied to the political turmoil they prophecy for Florence. From the disorder of the earthly city, Dante moves on to the order on its infernal counterpart, mapped by Virgil in Inferno XI. The moral system of Dante's Hell is then discussed with a view to its classical antecedents.

Reading assignment:

Dante, Inferno: IX, X, XI

Resources: Visual Resources - Lecture 5 [HTML]

Link this page

Would you like to put a link to this lecture on your homepage?
Go ahead! Copy the HTML snippet !

Write your own review or comment:

make sure you have javascript enabled or clear this field: