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Questions tagged [dante-alighieri]

Questions about the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (c. 1265 – 1321) and his works. In addition to the 'Divine Comedy', Dante also wrote 'La Vita Nuova' ("The New Life"), the Latin treatise 'De vulgari eloquentia' ("On the Eloquence of Vernacular") and several other works. Questions regarding his works should include the tag [italian-literature] or [latin-literature] depending on the work.

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Why is Dante's Magnum Opus Called a 'Divine Comedy'?

I can see little reason for Dante to name his work a 'divine comedy.' At least with Inferno, I can better see it as a tragedy. Why did he choose to name his work as he did?
Wyvern123's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
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What did Dante mean by "Papè Satan, papè Satan aleppe" in the Inferno?

So, I was recently re-reading the Inferno, and I have come across this quote which I can't make sense of. "Papè Satan, papè Satan aleppe," (VII.1) It seemed rather weird that it wouldn't ...
In Hoc Signo's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

How might Shakespeare have become familiar with Dante's work?

A recent question on our site asked whether Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing contained a reference to Dante's Divine Comedy. In his answer, Matt Thrower mentions Beatrice, the name of both a ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
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What is the planet that "leads men straight on every road" in Dante's "Inferno"?

At the beginning of Inferno, Dante comes across a hill, which is being lit by the rays of a "planet": But at the far end of that valley of evil whose maze had sapped my very heart with fear!...
Mithical's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did Dante plagiarize the Divine Comedy from Kitab al-Miraj?

By looking up what the Kitab al-Miraj was, you can see many similarities to the Divine Comedy: a traveler's journey through the afterlife. Is it possible that Dante plagiarized this work?
user4281's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Dante Alleghieri's Divine Comedy "has been translated into the most languages in the world & top printed work after the Bible"?

There is a MOOC about Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy by the The University of Naples Federico II, in which a certain professor named Raffaele Giglio starts a video (published in September 2017) in ...
O0123's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
244 views

Is there evidence that the fate of some "A Song of Ice and Fire" characters was inspired by the "Divine Comedy"'s contrapasso?

In the Inferno in Dante's Divine Comedy, sinners are punished by a process that either resembles or contrast with the major sin they committed. For example, the violent are submerged in a river of ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
744 views

Why the phrasing "where the sun is silent" in Dante's "Inferno"?

I'm reading Dante's Inferno, and towards the beginning, I came across this line: And as one who is eager in gaining, and, when the time arrives that makes him lose, weeps and afflicts himself in all ...
Mithical's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
747 views

What does "were with him when Divine Love first moved those fair things" mean in Dante's "Inferno"?

Towards the beginning of the Inferno, when the narrator encounters the leapord, lion, and wolf, we find this passage: The time was at the beginning of the morning; and the sun was mounting up with ...
Mithical's user avatar
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5 votes
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What is the oldest non-biographical work of literature in which the author is also a protagonist?

Dante's Divine Comedy, written in the years 1308-1320, is a long narrative poem in which the poet is also a protagonist in the story. The story also includes many real characters, such as Virgil and ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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5 votes
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What does Dante mean here?

When touring Limbo with Virgil, Virgil tells Dante that he and the rest of the virtuous pagans are condemned in Limbo to live eternally without hope. Dante asks his guide, […] "Dear sir, my master,"...
Daniel's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
309 views

How did Dante know so much about geography and astronomy in his Purgatorio?

This answer on the History of Science & Maths SE says that Dante's Purgatorio contains a lot of what would now be considered "worldbuilding" which seems fairly advanced for the time: ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
765 views

How much time did one canto in Dante's Divine Comedy represent (if any)?

Dante's Divine comedy is divided up in Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) – each of these consists of 33 cantos. Now I'm wondering if there is any indication about how ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
434 views

Where did Boccaccio refer to Dante's Comedia or Commedia as the Divine Comedy?

The English Wikipedia article about Dante's Divine Comedy contains the following paragraph, which contains a statement that has no source (emphasis mine): The work was originally simply titled ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
7k views

What is the context and origin of this Dante quote?

Can someone explain what this quote means and give a little context? You shall find out how salt is the taste of another man's bread, and how hard is the way up and down another man's stairs. -- ...
user11535's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
390 views

Dante's Inferno reference in Much Ado About Nothing

My professor asked me this for an assignment. It was to identify a Dante's Inferno reference in Much Ado About Nothing. I don't know what he meant by this. Where is this reference? Does not have to be ...
Chris Lee's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
898 views

Free will in Dante's Divine Comedy

I am reading Dante's Divine Comedy. In many cantos, souls predict Dante's future, and it is said that God knows everything past, present and future and that souls can enter heaven only if they are ...
mattiav27's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Reference for Dante Quote

I have heard that the quote “The Devil is not as black as he is painted.” is due to Dante. Can someone please provide me a with a reference for this? I am guessing that it is somewhere in the Divine ...
Mishel Skenderi's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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Should I read the original text or the guide to the text first?

As the title states: if you have a guide book to reading an author or a specific work, should you read it before, after, or alongside the work itself? I've wondered this for a while in a general sense ...
Nick Younger's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does the poet's introduction in Dante's Inferno mean?

In part 1 one of Dante's Inferno, "The Dark Wood", the narrator is introduced to a figure: At sight of him in that friendless waste I cried: "Have pity on me, whatever thing you are, ...
Mithical's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
242 views

Who was indignant at Dante’s behaviour to the sinners in the “Inferno”?

In several places in the Inferno, the narrator, representing the poet Dante, behaves badly to the sinners suffering in hell. In Canto VIII, Dante is being ferried across the marshy Styx, in which the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
145 views

Who is "the Adversary of all Evil" in Dante's "Inferno"?

What's the meaning of "the Adversary of all Evil" in line 16 of Canto 2 of Inferno by Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi? Here's the context (lines 13–24): You sang how the father ...
Tayyab's user avatar
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