The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia) (The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell) is an Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun in 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered the pre-eminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature.
The narrative takes as its literal subject the state of the soul after death and presents an image of divine justice meted out as due punishment or reward, and describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven. Allegorically the poem represents the soul's journey towards God, beginning with the recognition and rejection of sin (Inferno), followed by the penitent Christian life (Purgatorio), which is then followed by the soul's ascent to God (Paradiso). Dante draws on medieval Roman Catholic theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy derived from the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse".
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