The most widely read work of Florentine politician and writer Dante Alighieri, the Divine Comedy dictates a tale of the three realms of the afterlife as believed by the Italians of the Middle Ages. Broken into three parts, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso are individual cantos—defined as a version of an epic poem that is usually sung—that make up the components of the overall text. As a volume, the Divine Comedy is commonly considered a work of religious poetry, however Dante Alighieri is not shy about revealing his deep understanding of contemporary science, astronomy, and philosophy within the tome as well. It is in part because of his vast array of influences utilized, as well as his lyrical style, that the Divine Comedy was propelled onto the stage of literary masterpieces.
The Divine Comedy and Christian Concept of Afterlife
The Divine Comedy is considered by most scholars as an allegory of the different states of afterlife for a soul upon death. In Inferno, Dante discusses the Christian concept of Hell, the place where those who committed sins and crimes suffer for the rest of eternity under the vicious thumb of Satan.