The complete Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) in one volume from Vintage Classics. The greatest poem of the Middle Ages, in the standard Carlyle-Okey-Wickstead translation, with full notes.
Dante’s Divine Comedy relates the allegorical tale of the poet’s journey through the three realms of the dead. Accompanied through the Inferno and Purgatory by Virgil—author of the Roman epic the Aeniad—Dante encounters mythical, historical, and contemporaneous figures in their respective afterlives. Relying on classical (pagan) mythology and Christian imagery and theology, Dante imagines diverse vivid and inventive punishments for the various sinners he encounters, which have become part of the Western imagination.
Upon their approach to Paradise, which as a pagan, no matter how worthy, the Latin poet cannot enter, Virgil relinquishes his role as guide to Beatrice. Dante's chaste beloved then accompanies him along the ascent, as they encounter the blessed and the holy, and Dante arrives at a vision of the heavenly paradise.
About Dante Alighieri
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.
“The English Dante of choice.” –Hugh Kenner
“Exactly what we have waited for these years, a Dante with clarity, eloquence, terror, and profoundly moving depths.” –Robert Fagles, Princeton University
“A marvel of fidelity to the original, of sobriety, and truly, of inspired poetry.” –Henri Peyre, Yale University