Donna Lynne Yowell
Introduction to Dante's Comedy. Considers formal, structural, linguistic, literary, historical, cultural, philosophical, and theological issues raised by the text. Discusses the main currents of twentieth-century Dante criticism.
Dante Alighieri's Comedy is a work of political, spiritual and poetic daring. This course will guide you through Dante's otherworldly cosmos - the harsh mimesis of Hell; the interior landscapes of Purgatory; and the disturbing paradoxes of Paradise - in an attempt to define Dante's poetics through an examination of his visionary text and your reading of it. The course follows no single approach to the poem but will address formal, structural, linguistic, literary, historical, cultural, philosophical, and theological issues raised by the text. Discussion wil be in English; the text can be read in Italian or English.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture and Discussion
"...to those who would appreciate poetry and unwind its difficult involutions. You must read, you must persevere, you must sit up nights, you must inquire, and exert the utmost power of your mind." - Giovanni Boccaccio, 14th Century author, reader of Dante.
Class assignments and grading
reading, writing, persevering, sitting up nights, etc.
exam papers class participation