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In what language did Dante write The Divine Comedy?

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catleyn | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:25 AM via web

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In what language did Dante write The Divine Comedy?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM (Answer #1)

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Dante Alighieri wrote this, his most famous work, in Italian.  More specifically, he wrote it in what was then a Tuscan dialect of Italian.

This is important for a couple of reasons.  First of all, most serious writing in Dante's days was done in Latin.  For someone to write a piece of real literature in a vernacular language was a big step.

Secondly, Italian had not yet been standardized into one language at that point.  By writing this book, Dante helped make his dialect into the basis of what became a national Italian language.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted February 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM (Answer #2)

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According to the Italian Dante Society, the poem was constructed in Italian. No original copies exist. Dante’s Divine Comedy is considered to be one of the greatest poems in the Western world. Despite its vastness, the poem is simply structured. A Pilgrim is lost in the woods of error and is prevented from finding his way back to the path by three fierce beasts. He is rescued by the shade of the poet Virgil, who will restore him to his right path. They will take a roundabout way, through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. Virgil guides him through Hell and Purgatory, and then Dante’s visionary and spiritual lady, Beatrice, leads him through the nine spheres of Heaven. The poem ends with a vision of God.

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