BETTER TITLE: Is Dante's Inferno too Christian?
There are many English translations of Dante's Inferno on and off the internet.
I myself bought a copy of the Collins' Edition of the epic. It is in poetic form, but not rhymed.
I also downloaded a translation in prose-poetic form. I skimmed through it and found the language quite exquisite.
Now I am undecided about which translation I am to read in earnest.
I very well know that this forum is inhabited by many online persona who appreciate and consider literature as a ubiquitous part of the collective human endeavor; and I use this awareness as the basis of my intention, that is to ask you, the said literature enthusiasts, these questions:
1. If let us say one is an agnostic, or a non-Christian, would he or she enjoy or at least be able to appreciate Inferno? If so, in what aspects? Otherwise, will the non-Christian be able to appreciate its aesthetic qualities?
2. Language wise, how beautiful is it? Do bear in mind that beauty here is not the literal one, but its abstract cousin.
3. If the language is beautiful, is it necessary that one should read it in its full poetic form?
4. How does it handle the ever-present issues of morality? Is it handled in black-and-white, either-this-or-that way? In short: is there any moral ambiguity? Are the sinners bad and flawed in every definition of bad and flawed?
5. To the non-religious, atheists, agnostics, pantheists, and others who do not believe in the personal god and afterlife, is the work a masterpiece still? Does it teach anything to them spiritually?
6. Would one be still impressed by the depth and vastness of the epic has he or she been exposed to the wonders of the universe as revealed by science?
I shall now say my gratitude: thank you all.