Divine Comedy

Author: Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321)

Dante's Divine Comedy is the masterpiece of the Italian language. Written between 1308 and 1321, the three-part epic poem is well-known as a literary classic. The poem features Dante as the main character (though it is fiction), and describes his journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio) and Heaven (Paradiso). He meets many angels, demons, and other human travelers on this trip, and his guides are the Latin poet Virgil and Beatrice, a woman he loved. Under the surface, though, Divine Comedy is an allegory. Dante uses his journey to represent the soul's movement toward God, and the poem has many other religious themes, mostly gathered from the medieval theology of Thomas Aquinas. The poem is extremely intricate, and mathematical and scientific patterns can be found throughout. Dante also makes many cultural references and allusions, Greek and Roman myth provide many of the characters and history, and the story even has political themes. Divine Comedy is a work that explores the afterlife from a medieval perspective. It is a fascinating read that will entrance all who take the journey with Dante.

Abby Zwart
CCEL Staff Writer





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