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Thread: Most underrated of the Comedy

  1. #1
    Where's teh Ovid? Me09's Avatar
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    Most underrated of the Comedy

    Come on, this one basically describes heaven. And the fact that heaven is split up according to the plantery barriers makes this one the MOST interesting of the bunch in my opinion. What do you think of this lovely piece of literature?

  2. #2
    I also loved the Paradiso section of Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, but I would have to call the Purgatorio my favorite, categorized between the seven deadly sins.
    I have no bad opinions of the Paradiso, and certainly found it the most touching of the three sections, Dante having found Beatrice, ascending the cosmos. The ending, no doubt, brought tears to my eyes - a piece of literary art so beautiful certainly deserves unlimited, immeasurable reverence, but, still, I cannot help but loving the Purgatorio most.

  3. #3
    Where's teh Ovid? Me09's Avatar
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    Yeah, Purgatorio is certainly interesting, but Paradisio is so...beautiful.

    By the way, I love The Picture of Dorian Gray. It most certainly is my favorite book.

  4. #4
    Inferno is my favorite. Its fascinating to view (if only one man's view) how medieval man conceptualized hell. The Divine Comedy displays the obsessive need to rank and prioritize (everything). I havent read Paradiso, but I bet it's similiar to Inferno in that respect.

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    johncosta.angelfire.com libernaut's Avatar
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    i liked them all, but youre right about paradiso. it gave me such a good feeling when i was reading it.

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    Underated is a misued word.
    Most of the great poets consider Paradiso the best part of the comedy (Jorge Luis Borges come to my mind) and I bet inferno is more famous for 1 - It is the first part, so it is more read, since people who give it up usually start for hell 2 - It is more atractive to first readers of the Comedy because the oddly and grotesque is more famous than the sublime.

  7. #7
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Yes, I completely agree. While I prefer Purgatorio, I think the average reader doesn't appreciate Paradiso enough.

    Part of it, I think, is that Dante makes this last part of the trilogy much more overtly philosophical than his others. I mean, canto II, is reaaaaaally difficult to understand (especially if you're a novice in Italian ), but I think it's deliberately difficult.

    Some of my classmates have told me they get tired of hearing about how beautiful Beatrice is, especially her smile. But that's an indispensable part of the poem.

    Anyways, I ran across an interesting article on this subject entitled "Why doesn't anyone read Dante's Paradiso?"
    http://www.slate.com/id/2178371/

  8. #8

    the Beauty of Beatrice

    I think your classmates are right. Dante's problem with Beatrice is that he navermakes an attempt to describe her at all other than to say she is noble, modest and beautiful. It is hard to maintain cratic interest in the basis of that and the readers attention begins to wander. This is a shame because Beatrice is the route through which Dante wishes to show us how the ills of humantiy can be cured. Dante is an able dramatist but he fails here. We would beleive in the power of Beatrice much more if we had a sense of the way she combed her hair and the way she sang off key.

    Have a look at my book Dante's Invnetion for more http://on.fb.me/dantesinv

  9. #9
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBurge View Post
    We would beleive in the power of Beatrice much more if we had a sense of the way she combed her hair and the way she sang off key.
    But realism is not the point. Beatrice is an idealized and allegorized figure. Her increasing beauty as she and Dante ascend up the spheres of Heaven conveys the proportionate increase in God's love; to show any fault in Beatrice would undermine the message, especially since she is educating Dante in Divine Love.
    Ecce quam bonum et jocundum, habitares libros in unum!
    ~Robert Greene, Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay

  10. #10
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    I think that the Inferno is the most known because it employs a great deal of narrative action and it deals with the ugliness and horror that we are all acquainted with as human beings. Perhaps in this sense it is the most "human". The wealth of narrative action also means that The Inferno has lent itself much more frequently to artistic interpretation in painting, sculpture, music, etc... whereas the visionary/metaphysical "narratives" of the Paradiso are far more likely to confound artistic interpretation. The Paradiso, on the other hand, is the most visionary, other-worldly, idealistic... and thus, the least grounded in the worldly. But also the most marvelous and beautiful.

    I doubt that the Paradiso is any more "underrated" then the Purgatorio. Neither text is read in most world literature surveys, while the Inferno is.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil
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  11. #11
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    I read and enjoyed Inferno and Purgatorio. I'm finding it hard to get through Paradiso.

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