Critical Insights: Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) is one of the most important poets in the history of Western literature. His famous epic poem, The Divine Comedy, has been translated again and again over the centuries and was recognized almost immediately as a major work of literary art. The epic has also been regarded as one of the most significant literary contributions to the realms of philosophy, theology, history, and even politics. The Divine Comedy, however, was only one of several major works composed by Dante. Others include Convivio (The Banquet, consisting of both poems and prose), La vita nuova (The New Life, another collection of poems and prose), De monarchia (Concerning Monarchy), and De vulgaria eloquentia (Concerning Vernacular Eloquence). Inspired by classical thought and classical writers, crucial in the history of the use of vernacular Italian, central to the tradition of Christian philosophy and theology, and undeniable in his impact on many later writers, Dante carved out a special place for himself during a life full of turbulence and serious dangers. The present volume will explore not just The Divine Comedy but many of his other works as well, taking into account deliberately diverse perspectives, including the biographical, historical, sociological, historical, and aesthetic.