The Divine Comedy, (in Italian "Comedia" or "Commedia", later christened "Divina" by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1307 and his death in 1321, is the greatest epic poem of Italian literature, and one of the greatest of world literature.
It is composed of three canticas, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, composed respectively of 34, 33, and 33 cantos. The verse used is the hendecasyllable, with the lines composing tercets according to the rhyme scheme ABA BCB CDC...
The poet tells in the first person his travel through the three realms of the dead, lasting a week during the spring of 1300.
external links to the text
- The Italian text can be freely downloaded from http://www.liberliber.it/biblioteca/a/alighieri/index.htm
- An English translation by H.W. Longfellow is available at the Project Gutenberg at http://digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=1004.