This course aims to introduce students to the work of the greatest poet of the European Middle Ages. As well as a close analytical reading of his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, it will include intensive study of other works by Dante that throw light on his great poem: the autobiographical prose and lyric poetry of Vita nuova [New Life], and the linguistic and poetic theory of De vulgari eloquentia [On Eloquence in the Vernacular]. Discussion of these texts will be integrated with a general introduction to the literary and intellectual culture of Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. All readings will be in English.
There will be lectures each Monday and Wednesday, and a mandatory discussion section each Friday. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Four short (3-5 pp.) term papers; final exam
Dante Alighieri, Inferno (trans. Stanley Lombardo), ISBN 978-0872209176
Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio (trans. Stanley Lombardo), ISBN 978-1624664915
Dante Alighieri, Paradiso (trans. Stanley Lombardo), ISBN 978-1624665905
Dante, Vita nuova (trans. Mark Musa), ISBN 978-0199540655
Dante, De vulgari eloquentia (trans. Steven Botterill), ISBN 978-0521409230