The Divine Comedy is a complete scale of the depths and heights of human emotion," wrote T.S. Eliot. "The last canto of the Paradiso is to my thinking the highest point that poetry has ever reached or ever can reach."
The Divine Comedy stands as one of the towering creations of world literature, and its climactic section, the Paradiso, is perhaps the most ambitious poetic attempt ever made to represent the merging of individual destiny with universal order. Having passed through Hell and Purgatory, Dante is led by his beloved Beatrice to the upper sphere of Paradise, wherein lie the sublime truths of Divine will and eternal salvation, to at last experience a rapturous vision of God.
"A spectacular achievement," said poet and critic Archibald MacLeish of John Ciardi's version of Dante's masterpiece. "A text with the clarity and sobriety of a first-rate prose translation which at the same time suggests in powerful and unmistakable ways the run and rhythm of the great original."
About the Author
Dante Alighieri was born in 1265 in Florence to a family of minor nobility. He entered into Florentine politics in 1295, but he and his party were forced into exile in a hostile political climate in 1301. Taking asylum in Ravenna late in life, Dante completed his Divine Commedia, considered one of the most important works of Western literature, before his death in 1321.
Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Dore (1832-1883) was a French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor. Dore worked primarily with wood engraving, and that is in this field that he gained enormous worldwide popularity and renown, mainly for the plates he did for the "Divine Comedy" of Dante and for the "Fables of La Fontaine," which continue today to inspire countless illustrators, film directors and other artists.