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IT2230 - Dante's Comedy – Themes and Ideas

IT2230 - Dante’s Comedy – Themes and Ideas

Terms 1-2

Convenor: Dr Stefano Jossa

Assessment: Class test (10%); Essay (30%): 1,5000 – 2,000 words; Exam (60%) 


The course aims to explore themes and ideas concerning Dante’s Inferno (Hell), the first cantica of his Divine Comedy.  The course will give a broad introduction to the Divine Comedy as a whole through a very close reading of its first section, Hell. The course aims to give a full understanding of Dante’s major work, through a more extensive consideration of issues such as the developments in Dante’s life and poetry, his relationship to his environment, the cultural context, and through closer reference to sections of the text, selected in particular to illustrate these themes.

The course will also continue to the study, begun in year 1, of the continuing influence of Dante and his work on later Italian and European culture.

The course builds on the foundations laid in IT1230 but is also designed to be accessible to students who have not previously studied Dante and to students on CLC programs.


Set text: Dante – Divine Comedy, Inferno

Recommended reading:

The Cambridge companion to Dante, edited by R. Jacoff  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed. 2007).

A very short introduction to Dante, edited by P. Hainsworth and D. Robey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)




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