later dubbed the
or 'Divine Comedy' in the16
century (Ciardi xiii), is an epic poem written by Florentine poet Dante Alighierisometime between 1308 to his death in 1321. It is widely acclaimed as
"the grandest single element in the Italian heritage "
(Norwich 605), and one of the greatest works inworld literature. It is divided into three parts, or
each chronicling Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heavenrespectively, the three realms of the Christian afterlife. The
was critically praised for its imaginative depiction of the medieval perception of the afterlife, but beyond that, it was an allegorical journey the soul's journey towards God (Sayers 19).Popular theology and philosophy during Dante's time were pervading themes in the
.Dante lived in a period where Florence was in a lot of political turmoil. As a practicing officer of the city-state, he had a lot of political opponents and the constantinfighting eventually culminated in his exile. Banned from his very own home and withall his material assets, Dante became distasteful of politics. He condemned many of hiscolleagues in his
, although there were few exceptions where he wouldactually praise his contemporaries.
is the second
, following the
. The poem is divided into 33
(chapters in epic poetry) muchlike the other two, but including the introductory canto found in Inferno, the sum of
in the entire
is 100 in all. It is told by Dante in the first person, of hisclimb up the Mount of Purgatory with the poet Virgil. Purgatory is depicted as a mountain- 3 -