"I have been in the Heaven that takes up most of his light, and saw things there that those who descend from that height cannot speak of or forget…."
Led by his guide, Beatrice, Dante leaves the Earth behind and soars through the heavenly spheres of Paradise. In this third and final part of The Divine Comedy, he encounters the just rulers and holy saints of the Church. The horrors of the Inferno and the trials of Purgatory are left far behind. Ultimately, in Paradise, Dante is granted a vision of God’s Heavenly court: the angels, the Blessed Virgin, and God Himself.
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This last 33 cantos of THE DIVINE COMEDY are a peaceful completion of the journey, perhaps too peaceful. British actor and playwright Williams’s narration of this section seems laid-back and somnolent. Heathcote Williams is solemn, his voice serious and low, as Dante and Beatrice ascend to Empyrean. The beauty of Paradise is subdued by Williams's quiet reverence but some lack of energy. Nevertheless, an audiobook edition is a welcome listening experience.
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