Dante's Inferno WEA Sydney

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“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” are the most famous words from Canto III of Dante Alighieri’s great poem, La Divina Commedia. In the thirty-four cantos of the first book, Inferno, we shall accompany Dante and his guide, the Roman poet Virgil, as they traverse the entrance to Hell and descend into the nine circles, until they encounter Satan in the deepest circle at the centre of the earth. Discover why the poem has influenced authors and painters ever since it was written in the 14th century and still grips readers today.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Dante, The Divine Comedy, Vol. I translated by Mark Musa


  • Cantos 1-5: The dark wood. Vestibule of Hell. 1st circle -Limbo. 2nd circle - Lust.
  • Cantos 6-10: 3rd circle – Gluttony; 4th circle – Greed; 5TH circle - Wrath, entrance to Dis, 6th circle - Heresy.
  • Cantos 11-15: Heresy; 7th circle - Violence.
  • Cantos 16-20: Violence continued, 8th circle: Fraud – the Malebolge 1-4.
  • Cantos 21-25: Malebolge 5-7.
  • Cantos 26-30: Malebolge 8 – 10.
  • Cantos 31-34: 9th circle Treachery and centre of Hell. Conclusion


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Appreciate Dante’s ordering of sins.
  2. Know Charon’s role.
  3. Gain an understanding of Limbo.

Virginia McGill

BMus (Hons), PhD
Dr Virginia McGill, B.Mus (Hons), PhD, studied music at UNSW. The subject of her doctorate was opera but her musical interests are very broad. Her teaching experience is considerable. Virginia has...