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1265, Florence, Italy
September 14, 1321, Ravenna, Italy
Statesman, Poet, Language Theorist, Political Theorist
Late Middle Ages
c. 1265 – 14 September 1321
Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy).
“The Divine Comedy”, “Literature in the Vernacular”, “La vita nuova”, “The Banquet”
The Divine Comedy, an epic poem that is one of the world’s most important works of literature. The poem, which is divided into three sections, follows a man, generally assumed to be Dante himself, as he visits Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. In the simple power of its striking imaginative conceptions it has continued to astonish generations of readers; for more than a hundred years it has been a staple in all higher educational programs in the Western world; and it has continued to provide guidance and nourishment to the major poets of our own times.
Dante is known for establishing the use of the vernacular in literature at a time when most poetry was written in Latin, which was accessible only to the most educated readers. His use of the Florentine dialect in his works helped establish the modern-day standardized Italian language. In addition, the first use of the interlocking three-line rhyme scheme, or the terza rima, is attributed to him. He is described as the "father" of the Italian language.
“My course is set for an uncharted sea.”
“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
“The path to paradise begins in hell.”
“The more a thing is perfect, the more it feels pleasure and pain.”
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