Summary

Dante's Divine Comedy is considered to be not only the most important epic poem in Italian literature, but also one of the greatest poems ever written. It consists of 100 cantos, and (after an introductory canto) they are divided into three sections. Each section is 33 cantos in length, and they describe how Dante and a guide travel through Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Expertly translated here by the famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dante's masterpiece leaps vividly to life in this production.
Philosophically, the poem is based on the theological works of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Divine Comedy is essentially an allegory of the progress of the human soul toward God and the progress of mankind toward peace on earth. Many of the characters involved are drawn from ancient Roman history and from Dante's contemporaries, making the work a realistic picture of Italian life in the early 14th century. As well, it is an intensely developed analysis of human affairs. In structure the poem appears to be a description of the afterlife. But it is in essence, a compassionate, oral evaluation of humanity and a mystical vision of the Absolute toward which mankind struggles. The Divine Comedy endures today because of the universality of its drama and the lyric quality of the poetry, and not as the result of any doctrinal content.
(P)2009 Audio Connoisseur
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By LM C on 16-04-18

Beautifully done!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Divine Comedy to be better than the print version?

I like to think of it as a different experience. It's one of those masterpieces where you should definitely try both versions!

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2 out of 5 stars
By David on 13-06-14

Dull!

I've given this two stars because it's famous, but that's it. I actually couldn't finish it. The imagery in inferno is interesting, but well known, but I was losing the will to live a few hours into the Paradiso. No wonder most people only read the first book! Nothing wrong with it as an audio book, I just blame Dante! So much of it is parochial politics, people Dante knew at the time which might be quite interesting if you knew who they were but without a lifetime of study, which I'm not prepared to do, I just couldn't get into it. Read the York notes instead!

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12 of 44 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tbaley on 27-05-15

Divine Comedy

The epic of all epics. Carlton Griffin is magnificent. His pronunciation and intonation made it so much more reachable.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Craig E. Campell on 14-07-15

Timeless poetry

This is a decent translation of the Comedy, though perhaps not my favorite. Griffin's narration moved the story along nicely without getting in the way, and the sound effects at the beginning of each canto contributed to the otherworldly atmosphere of the book.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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