World Lit: Circle 9, Betrayal


  • ELAGSE9-10RL2 Determine a theme or central idea of text and closely analyze 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. Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE9-10RL1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. Georgia ELA
  • ELAGSE9-10RL4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone.) Georgia ELA

Learning Target
Students will be able to analyze a theme of Dante’s Inferno and write a short essay explaining it.

Opening Session
STORY TIME! As we descend into the final circle of Hell, we get to meet Satan and the 3 worst sinners in all of history. Two of them are from a story we didn’t read this semester called Julius Caesar. So let’s take a few minutes during our Opening Session to talk about the story of Julius Caesar’s betrayal by Brutus and Cassius!

Work Session
And now we delve into the deepest reaches of Hell – Circle 9, Canto XXXIV. We’re going to be reading it together out of the textbook today, closely working through the poetry as Dante surmounts the most difficult obstacle of all, Satan himself.

Now that we’ve finished Dante’s Inferno, I want you to consider the two themes we have touched on during this unit. The first theme is the idea of symbolic retribution, the idea that the punishment in Hell should fit the sins committed on Earth. The second theme is the idea that the real punishment in Hell is the absence of hope that the torture will ever end.

Choose one of the two themes and write a short essay where you explain how Dante shows this theme in the Inferno. You should write about 3ish paragraphs and cite evidence from the text (you have canto XXXVII in front of you, and I can give you copies of canto I, III, and V).
This is due at the end of class, and don’t forget the poster activity (last one!!)

Closing Session
Do your LAST poster activity and catch up on any you might have missed along the way!

Formative (Poster activity), summative (impromptu essay)

Process (scaffolding), Product (varied essay length as needed)

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