Dante’s Divine Comedy: an introduction
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now finished
What is the course about?
The Divine Comedy is probably the most important and famous work of Italian literature. A few centuries after its
publication this epic poem was almost ignored, only to be rediscovered in the 19th century, exerting a significant
influence on so many writers in many different countries. But what is it that makes it one of the greatest works of
world literature? And why is it so important for the Italian language?
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We will first look at the historical and cultural events that inspired Dante to write The Divine Comedy, before
exploring its structure, main themes and language. We will also examine the various interpretations of the journey in
the afterlife. This will be combined with a reading of a selection of its cantos (in English).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- provide information on the historical background of Florence in the 13th century
- describe the role and function of Dante's guides
- provide an example of how Dante included his personal view in the poem.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and does not require any knowledge of Italian or previous readings about Dante.
However, a good grasp of English is necessary to make the most of the session and to fully appreciate the complex
syntax of Dante's poem.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The session will be a mixture of tutor-led lecture combined with group discussion, readings and opportunities to ask
questions. Some group or pair activities will be included. A further reading list will be provided at the end.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
The extracts from the cantos will be provided by the tutor. Bring writing material if you wish to take notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
For literary history and other literature classes, please check our website under History, Culture and Writing at www.citylit.ac.uk for more information.
Francesco has taught Italian language classes and literature at City Lit since 2014. He also works as Head of the Classics Department. After graduating with honours in Modern Languages and Literatures (English, German and Serbo-Croat), he moved to London and started teaching Italian at various adult education colleges, which gave him the opportunity to share his interest in Italian language, culture and traditions to a diverse range of students. During this time, he also acquired experience in curriculum management. Francesco currently prepares students for Italian exams. His passion includes philology, Dante, early Italian literature and the history of Italy (primarily the Northeast, where he grew up and was educated).
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.