Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Dante’s Divine Comedy

ENGL 232.401

Benjamin Franklin Seminar
Cross listed with ITAL 333, COML 333

In this course we will read the /Inferno/, the /Purgatorio/ and the >/Paradiso/, focusing on a series of interrelated problems raised by the poem: authority, fiction, history, politics and language. Particular attention will be given to how the /Commedia/ presents itself as Dante's autobiography, and to how the autobiographical narrative serves as a unifying thread for this supremely rich literary text. Supplementary readings will include Virgil's /Aeneid/ and selections from Ovid's /Metamorphoses/. All readings and written work will be in English. Italian or Italian Studies credit will require reading Italian texts in their original language and doing the written assignments in Italian.