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The third volume of Dante's Divine Comedy
To the consternation of his more academic admirers, who believed Latin to be the only proper language for dignified verse, Dante wrote his Comedy in colloquial Italian, wanting it to be a poem for the common reader. Taking two threads of a story that everybody knew and loved – the story of a vision of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, and the story of the lover who has to brave the Underworld to find his lost lady – he combined them into a great allegory of the soul’s search for God. He made it swift, exciting and topical, lavishing upon it all his learning and wit, all his tenderness, humour and enthusiasm, and all his poetry. In Paradise, Dante journeys through the encircling spheres of heaven towards God.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Dante Alighieri was born in 1265. Considered Italy's greatest poet, this scion of a Florentine family mastered in the art of lyric poetry at an early age. His first major work is La Vita Nuova (1292) which is a tribute to Beatrice Portinari, the great love of his life. Married to Gemma Donatic, Dante's political activism resulted in his being exiled from Florence to eventually settle in Ravenna. It is believed that The Divine Comedy—comprised of three canticles, The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso—was written between 1308 and 1320. Dante Alighieri died in 1321.
Barbara Reynolds, retired lecturer in Italian at Cambridge University, holds three honorary doctorates. She translated Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso for Penguin Classics and finished Dorothy L. Sayers’s translation of Dante’s Paradise after Sayers’s death.
Table of Contents
|Note A: Astronomy in Paradise||350||(2)|
|Note B: Pilgrim or Falcon?||352||(2)|
|Note C: Animal or Silkworm?||354||(2)|
|Glossary of Proper Names||356||(39)|
|Books to Read||395||(2)|
What People are Saying About This
Exactly what we have waited for these years, a Dante with clarity, eloquence, terror, and profoundly moving depths.
The Divine Comedy is a complete scale of the depths and heights of human emotion...The last canto of the Paradiso is to my thinking the highest point that poetry has ever reached or ever can reach.
A spectacular achievement...A text with the clarity and sobriety of a first-rate prose translation which at the same time suggests in powerful and unmistakable ways the run and rhythm of the great original."
The English Dante of choice.