FYS-131 Dante’s Divine Comedy: The Poet, The Pilgrim, The Prophet

Instructor: Chairperson/Professor Alan Raymond Perry
Department: Italian

Course Description:
This seminar, taught in English, explores the three cantos of the Divine Comedy: Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. Students examine the life of Dante Alighieri and his times. Discussion focuses on the characters and events of this classic poem. Questions students will ponder include: what happens to us after death? What does it really mean to be a good person? Why do bad things happen to good people? How far would a person go for love? Why is having too many sexual relationships an ultimately less serious matter for the soul than drinking or eating too much? Here is the masterpiece of world literature that inspired and changed the lives of Michelangelo, Galileo, and James Joyce who once said, “Dante is my spiritual food!” No knowledge of the Italian language is expected or needed.