Inferno Canto 14




Rachel Teubner is a Research Fellow in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Australian Catholic University. Her research explores Christian thought in Medieval and Renaissance literature, and she is the author of the forthcoming Practicing Humility: A Theological Commentary on Dante’s Commedia.

Questions for Reflection

  • The first half of canto 14 is a study of blasphemy through the heroic figure of the Greek king Capaneus. How might we think of blasphemy as an act of violence? What relation do you see between blasphemy and pride?
  • What does Capaneus’ claim that “What I was in life I am in death” reveal to us about the nature of damnation? What do you think Dante intends to show us about the nature of blessedness in contrast to this?
  • Why would Dante devote so much space to Virgil’s retelling of the myth of the golden age? Does that myth being told in the context of hell tell us something about human ambition? Does it serve as a warning against a nostalgia for the past?
  • How is Virgil a fitting contrast to Capaneus?


  • Dr. Rachel Teubner
  • Australian Catholic University
  • Run Time 10:06