Dante’s Divine Comedy is a journey through the afterlife of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, written by one of the greatest classical poets in history. Here are ten reasons why this great work of literature should still be read today.
1. The Divine Comedy is a gripping and fascinating journey through the afterlife unequalled in literature.
Many scholars believe that the Divine Comedy is the greatest single work of poetry ever written. In the words of T.S Elliot: “Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them – there is no third.”
2. The story is as exciting and fresh today as it was in the 14th century.
Monsters, adventure, politics, sex, love, relationships, good and evil, this story has it all.
3. It can be enjoyed and appreciated on many levels.
Besides being the ultimate adventure, The Divine Comedy is loaded with history, intrigue, allegory, religion, and yes even comedy.
4. This is a work that can’t be read just once.
Like all great literature, this work demands multiple readings. It speaks to us wherever we are in life’s journey, and grows as we grow.
5. It covers the whole range of emotions.
Frustration, confusion, terror, rage, compassion, and love. And that’s just in the first book.
6. It’s an education in theology, philosophy, and history.
Learn about Aquinas, the classical philosophers, artists, and poets as well as the political, and religious leaders of Dante’s lifetime.
7. The inhabitants of Hell remind us some people we know.
Let’s face it, maybe somebody at the office?
8. Souls don’t always end up where you think.
Popes in Hell, killers in Heaven, it’s all about redemption and mercy.
9. Everyone loves a story about a journey.
Earth, Hell, Purgatory, Heaven. The greatest journey.
10. It has a happy ending.
After a rough start, Dante ends up in Heaven. This is ultimately a story of hope.