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Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

An all-time classic, inscribed with golden letters in universal history is the Divine Comedy, written at the beginning of the 14th century. It is widely considered the most important poem of the Middle Ages and the greatest literary work in the Italian language.

It is about Dante’s journey to hell, purgatory, and paradise, to atone for his sins and find the meaning of his life, through divine intervention.

Divine Comedy is a work written by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, born in 1265 in Florence, Italy. He was an important Italian poet of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

Meanwhile, allegorically, the poem depicts the soul’s journey to God. Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas.

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Summary of the Divine Comedy

Written in the first person, the poem narrates Dante’s journey through the three realms of the dead: hell, purgatory and paradise, in that order.

The crossing lasted from the night before Good Friday until the Wednesday after Easter, in the spring of 1300.

The Inferno is perhaps the part of the book best known to readers throughout time. There Dante makes his journey in the company of the poet Virgil and is guided by him through the infernal circles.

In Hell, frightful scenes of the dead paying for their sins are narrated. For example, swindlers boil in what would be the body of a fish and those dominated by anger beat themselves incessantly, while sinking in the mud.

Arriving in Purgatory, they see how mountains and precipices surround it. This is where the dead must do good to purify their souls so they can finally be ascended to paradise.

A crucial scene in the Purgatory section is when Dante witnesses the ascension of the soul of Statius, Latin epic poet, and author of The Thebaid.

Finally, they arrive in paradise, where Dante achieves his spiritual elevation and can verify the mysteries of the Christian faith, such as the Divine Incarnation.

He also meets Beatriz, his redeemer, descending from a cloud of flowers, an image of great lyricism and, undoubtedly, allegorical.

FAQ about the Divine Comedy

What does Dante write about in the Divine Comedy?

The Divine Comedy exposes the most human in people, their vulnerability and tendency to sin, and how it constitutes their ephemeral passage through life. Simultaneously, it also symbolizes their spiritual life, coming from the divine, and how it allows them to vindicate themselves and recover from the ravages of misfortune.

What are the 9 circles of the Divine Comedy?

Dante, together with Virgil, travels through the Inferno, which is the first domain of the dead. It is made up of 9 circles. First circle (Limbo), second (Lust), third (Gluttony), fourth (Avarice and Prodigality), fifth (Anger and Sloth), sixth (Heresy), seventh (Violence), eighth (Fraud), and ninth (Treason).

Why did Dante go to hell?

Dante has a spiritual void, he has lost his way in every way. Thus, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, he is allowed to enter the world of the dead to perhaps find what he has lost. Although Dante is not convinced, the poet Virgil persuades him.

Why can’t Virgil enter purgatory?

Virgil was a pagan, whose human existence took place before the birth of Christ, so he was not a witness to his life, death, and resurrection. According to the principles of Christian doctrine, pagans who lived before Christ are not allowed to ascend to heaven.