This edition: Dante's Inferno, Part 1
These two lessons center on the nature of allegory, the law of symbolic retribution, and how the nature of the soul according to St. Thomas Aquinas influenced the structure of Dante's Hell. How should one read Inferno for the first time? To what extent is Dante a new epic hero? To what extend does his journey constitute a new epic "action?" What is Inferno really about, and what was Dante's purpose in writing it? The episode of Paolo and Francesca is singled out for particular attention.
Featured interview: Professor Zyg Baranski (University of Reading)