If you're facing a 14th-century road to Hell, it's time you asked yourself some hard questions. First, are you feeling lucky today? Second, how well do you know your students?
While luck has a lot do with your success with any text, the second question is much more important. Take the time to assess that golden ratio of a successful English class: your students' literary stamina vs. what's required. If your students whined through most of the Canterbury Tales, chances are they aren't in the right place for an extra-strength dose of Dante. So, we are letting you off the hook (and you can tell the principal and the school board we said so) – pick and choose the cantos you know will fly particularly well with your students. Don't force-feed the entire epic poem at once if they aren't ready. It's better for their perception of Dante that you limit exposure.