Divine Comedy

Dante's divine comedy is considered to be one of the greatest literary works of the Middle Ages. It is divided into three books - Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. Dante describes in the first person his travel through the three realms. His guide through Hell and purgatory is the poet Virgil. Their journey through Hell begins on Good Friday, where they begin the descent into the depths of Hell and ends with their escape from Hell on Easter Sunday. The second part of the divine comedy is Purgatory, which describes their climb up the Mount of Purgatory, which consists of nine levels. Dante learns things about himself in each level which change him into a different and better man, enabling him to begin the ascent to Heaven. In book three, titled Paradise, Dante is guided by his beloved Beatrice. In this book he continues his search for spiritual enlightenment, which he finally experiences in the presence of God. A glossary is included with the first book. Included in the second and third books are notes, a glossary, appendices, diagrams, and suggestions for further reading. The introduction and translation are by Dorothy L. Sayers. The third book’s translation was finished by Barbara Reynolds after the Sayers’ death in 1957. 346 pgs, 388 pgs and 400 pgs, respectively, pb. – Stephanie A.




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