Your last two response assignments of the semester will be creative assignments. I hope you will enjoy thinking about the texts we are reading in a different way, and through a different medium…

This assignment requires you to review Canto XI of Inferno carefully, and also to review the diagrams of HellPreview the documentthat I gave you earlier. [Note: if for any reason you feel uncomfortable completing this assignment, please contact me for an alternative]

Think for a moment: if you were creating Hell, how would you classify sins, and on what basis? After coming up with a basic scheme for grouping together sins, from least to most serious, imagine how you would construct your Inferno.

1. In a brief paper or outline (500-750 words), explain your own, alternative system for classifying sins:

  • Which are the least grave and why?
  • Which are the most serious?
  • What moral, ethical or psychological principles justify your classification?
  • Like Dante, you should have a division of sins into general groups, such as incontinence
  • You should also have a more detailed classification within each of these general groups, for more specific sins
  • Give a few examples of punishments, to explain how the system of punishment works in your version of Hell
  • Briefly explain any details about the geography, location and structure of your hell if you are not able to depict them in visual form

2. Either on a sheet of paper, or in electronic form, draw or diagram your own system of HellBe sure to think about how architecture, geography and physical structure. Remember that Dante’s hell contains both artificial structures (castles, walls, doors, gates, etc.) and natural features (deserts, swamps,rivers, mountains, etc.).The more significant detail you give, the more credit you will get. Your visual representation should clearly communicate the structure of your hell and the distinction between different levels of sin.Use your imagination! Hell need not be a pit in the earth–it could be any sort of space with different compartments or levels.

Please note that I will not be evaluating your work on the basis of artistic merit, but on the inclusion of significant details, which should be communicated in visual form. Diagrams, boxes, arrows, circles, etc., are all fine. The only words should be labels that mark the different parts and geographical features of your vision of hell. 

You can take a picture of your image or use a scanner in one of the computer labs. Before you upload the image here, make sure that it’s in a proper file format (jpeg, etc.) and that it’s been rotated so that the top faces up. You can’t rotate an image once it’s been uploaded to Canvas!

Your short explanatory text and the visual representation are by the end of the day Saturday, November 9 by the end of the day.

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