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Divine Comedy Essay | Critical Essay #3

This Study Guide consists of approximately 72 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Divine Comedy.
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Critical Essay #3

In the following excerpt from an introduction written in 1948 and first published in 1949, Sayers mentions some of the factors that can make understanding The Divine Comedy difficult for a modern reader, and offers some pointers for understanding the work.

The ideal way of reading The Divine Comedy would be to start at the first line and go straight through to the end, surrendering to the vigour of the storytelling and the swift movement of the verse, and not bothering about any historical allusions or theological explanations which do not occur in the text itself. That is how Dante himself tackles his subject. His opening words plunge us abruptly into the middle of a situation:

Midway this way of life we're bound upon

I woke to find myself in a dark wood,

Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.

From that moment the pace of the narrative...

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This section contains 2,939 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Divine Comedy Study Guide
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Divine Comedy from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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