The Greatest Poem Ever Written
Dante's The Divine Comedy can rightly be called the greatest poem ever written, praised through the ages by a pantheon of writers and scholars. Romantic poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) referred to Dante's crowned "visionary brow". Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941) said, "Dante is my spiritual food!" Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922) called Dante "the most eloquent singer of the Christian idea". Even the 20th century literary critic T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) famously wrote that "Shakespeare and Dante divide the world between them, there is no third."
Yet today this great poem is often dismissed by modern scholars for its unabashed Catholic theology and deep spiritual vision. Shrug off the unfounded disdain of these skeptics, and discover for yourself the true grandeur, Christian nature, and sheer artistry of Dante's The Divine Comedy.
Your Expert Guide
Just as Dante needed Virgil to lead him through the bowels of Hell, you also need a true and trustworthy guide. Dr. Anthony Esolen serves as your Virgil in this course on the Inferno, the first canticle of The Divine Comedy. An expert who has taught Dante to college students for more than 20 years, Professor Esolen is also the preeminent modern translator of the entire Divine Comedy from the original Italian.
The Nine Circles of Hell
With Professor Esolen you will enter the terrible gates of Hell and progress level by infernal level to its diabolical depths. Professor Esolen places a special emphasis on the drama of the poem, leading you through each canto in succession. Along the way, you will learn:
- Dante's astonishing human and theological insights
- The destiny of man
- How to find our way out of the wilderness of sin
- The relationship between love and knowledge
- The integral unity between body and soul
Professor Esolen will more than satisfy your curiosity about Hell and the fate of the damned. He will reveal in all its starkness the horror of sin and awaken in your heart a longing for divine love.