Although two very different literary works, both the Shahnameh and Inferno deal centrally with the existence of human suffering and mortality. Discuss how the two deal with such issues as
what causes human suffering;
what seems inevitably tragic about human existence;
how one should deal with suffering;
what one should learn from an understanding of human mortality.
From the Shahnameh your essay will probably focus on Rustem, Sohrab, and/or Saiawush; for Dante, you have many options, but the following characters and their sad stories make especially good choices for the subject (but you can choose others if you wish; just one will do): Virgil, Francesca, Pier della Vigna, Brunetto Latini, Guido de Montefeltro.