Explain the historical importance of Dante's Divine Comedy.
When Dante's The Divine Comedy was written, there was significant tension between political rules and religious rulers in the political sphere in Florence and the whole of what would become Italy, though religious rule was ultimately winning the struggle. Dante was actually exiled by Pope Boniface VIII for his writings. The Divine Comedy explores the themes of tension between church and empire, making many references to Florentine politics. The image of popes exiled to hell is a particular reference to these events.
In addition to reflecting the historical realities of the world, The Divine Comedy also shaped them. The work's publishing immediately inspired people to write and publish responses and critiques. Dante's imagery also inspired a significant amount of Renaissance artwork, and the poem has been considered a classic of literature for generations.
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