"Here at last that much suffering reader will find Dante's greatness manifest, and not his greatness only, but his grace, his simplicity, and his affection."—William Dean Howells, The Nation "As a crown to his literary life, Longfellow combines his exquisite scholarship and his poetic skill and experience in the translation of one of the great poems of the world."—Harper's Monthly Enter the unforgettable world of The Inferno and travel with a pair of poets through nightmare landscapes of eternal damnation to the very core of Hell. The first of the three major canticles in La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy), this fourteenth-century allegorical poem begins Dante's imaginary journey from Hell to Purgatory to Paradise. His encounters with historical and mythological creatures--each symbolic of a particular vice or crime--blend vivid and shocking imagery with graceful lyricism in one of the monumental works of world literature. This acclaimed translation was rendered by the beloved nineteenth-century poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A skilled linguist who taught modern languages at Harvard, Longfellow was among the first to make Dante’s visionary poem accessible to American readers.
This convenient single-volume edition contains all three parts of Dante's 14th century poem ― Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso ― in an acclaimed translation by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Combining classical and Christian history as well as medieval politics and religion, this trilogy of sublime verse is among Western civilization's most important artistic works and essential reading for students of literature and history. Dante's allegory of the soul's journey to God begins with Inferno, in which the narrator traverses the underworld in the company of the ancient Roman poet Virgil. As they travel through the nine circles of Hell, the poets encounter historical and mythological figures suffering symbolic punishments for their earthly crimes. In Purgatorio, Dante continues on alone through the realm of redemption, where departed souls reflect upon their sins and work toward their moral improvement. The tale culminates in Paradiso, where the divine Beatrice guides Dante in the final stage of his intellectual journey from doubt to faith.
The second book in the three-part Divine Comedy finds Dante and his guide, Virgil, halfway between Heaven and Hell. Having portrayed the tortures of the damned in Inferno, Dante resumes his allegory of the soul's journey to God with Purgatorio. A place of pain but also hope, Purgatory allows its suffering souls to reflect upon their sins and to work toward their moral improvement, paving the way for their eventual entry to Paradiso. Dante transformed the traditional notion of Purgatory by depicting how aspiring souls could undergo moral change, exchanging their human frailty for divine perfection. His exploration of theological issues, especially the role of free will, offers an eloquent and inspiring parable of human possibility and redemption. This edition features the renowned translation by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and serves as a companion volume to the Dover editions of Inferno and Paradiso.
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