Permalink for this paragraph 0 Currently, I am taking the class offered about Dante and the Divine Comedy and I am finally going to talk about it.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 We just wrapped up The Inferno and have just started Purgatorio. While reading, we would often to stop to talk about what was going on in Europe and Italy during Dante’s life, specifically the fight between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. We’ve also learned about the Italian language (the original language of The Divine Comedy), history of Dante and all surrounding events of the time, and, most recently, astronomy. Being exposed to all of these different elements expands a reader’s understanding of the literature written by Dante. So much meaning would be lost without knowing the history and context.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 Knowing the history of Dante’s life makes the reading easier to understand and broadens the understanding of the material. Most of the people Dante meets in The Inferno would not be significant to us as readers, but were certainly important to Dante at the time he wrote the work, which was after he was exiled. The acknowledgement of when Dante wrote this piece also sheds light on how he wants the reader to interpret and take from the reading.
Permalink for this paragraph 2 It almost seems like the class is just as a much a History class as an English class, apart from the fact we close read every passage we come across. But, knowing the history does seem to make the close reading go more smoothly, despite the amount of information needed in order to understand the reading.