By near universal agreement, Dante’s Divine Comedy stands very high among the greatest literary works ever written. The Commedia is about the afterlife, not just Hell, but Purgatory, and Heaven too.
Dante’s genius is the genius of the allegorical method. In talking about his journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, Dante is talking about the whole course of human life. The Commedia is an account of Dante’s own salvation. He had lost his way and he may have lost his faith.
The Commedia chronicles how he got out. He is talking not just about himself, but about everybody, about all Christian history, and about non-Christian history as well. In talking about his salvation, he is talking about the salvation of his readers too.
All things considered, Dante is, by the most skeptical judgment, one of the greatest poets who has ever lived. And this is a revealing study of his greatest work.
[KH Audio] Dante and His Divine Comedy
Lecture 1 Dante: His Life and Times
Lecture 2 The Structure of the Commedia
Lecture 3 The Dark Wood
Lecture 4 The Gates of Hell
Lecture 5 The City of Dis
Lecture 6 Malebolge
Lecture 7 Cocytus and Satan
Lecture 8 The Shore of Purgatory
Lecture 9 The Seven Terraces
Lecture 10 The Earthly Paradise
Lecture 11 The Lower Heavens
Lecture 12 To the Sun and Beyond
Lecture 13 The Eagle of Justice
Lecture 14 To the Heaven of Pure Light