Paradiso Canto 24




Kathryn Smith is an Assistant Professor in Classical Education in the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University. She studies classical education, modernist and contemporary poetry and poetics, as well as ancient and modern rhetoric.

Questions for Reflection

  • In cantos 24-26, Dante stands for his final bachelorette exam before entering into the highest heavens. After everything that Dante has learned over the course of his journey, why do you think he is tested on the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love?
  • Why does Beatrice recommend that Dante “praise” faith rather than, say, defend his position on the nature of faith? Why use the language of celebration and praise rather than logic and argumentation (24.43-45)?
  • What is Dante’s faith (24.61-81)? Who examines Dante on faith and why might Dante have selected this figure?
  • Why is it so important for Dante to have faith rather than just have a definition of it (24.85-93)? How can we understand the entire journey of the Comedy as contributing to Dante’s possession of faith? How do you think Dante means to shape his readers’ faith?
  • How is Dante’s faith connected to the Scriptures? How does Dante understand the way that the Scriptures give rise to and shape faith?


  • Dr. Kathryn Smith
  • Templeton Honors College
  • Run Time 9:03