Expertly translated here by the famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dante's masterpiece leaps vividly to life in this production.
Philosophically, the poem is based on the theological works of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Divine Comedy is essentially an allegory of the progress of the human soul toward God and the progress of mankind toward peace on earth. Many of the characters involved are drawn from ancient Roman history and from Dante's contemporaries, making the work a realistic picture of Italian life in the early 14th century. As well, it is an intensely developed analysis of human affairs. In structure the poem appears to be a description of the afterlife. But it is in essence, a compassionate, oral evaluation of humanity and a mystical vision of the Absolute toward which mankind struggles. The Divine Comedy endures today because of the universality of its drama and the lyric quality of the poetry, and not as the result of any doctrinal content.
(P)2009 Audio Connoisseur
This is a decent translation of the Comedy, though perhaps not my favorite. Griffin's narration moved the story along nicely without getting in the way, and the sound effects at the beginning of each canto contributed to the otherworldly atmosphere of the book.
Second only to the Bible
The final balancing of justice
Very strong voice
Several, mainly in hell.
It is a little tough being in King James English...just push on thru and it will raise your mental view on life.
Longfellow was a wonderful poet, but the linguistic hoops he jumps through to preserve the form of the cantos leaves comprehension in the dust for the listener. Charlton Griffin can't save this muddle. It is almost incomprehensible at times. Almost everything in Italian rhymes, not so with English. One thing that is missing is comprehensive footnotes on the political background and personalities that Dante meets. Still, the language is beautiful, just don't expect to follow it in your car.
The narration was great and I especially liked the background noises at the beginning of each canto. It was a little difficult to follow in places, being poetry, but that was more a deficiency in the listener than the performance. I would heartily recommend it.
Found it hilarious that according to Dante Plato and Socrates are in the first circle of hell, Wonder what circle Dante ended up in eh'?
the content does not lend itself well to audio format. great work of literature, but is enjoyment is found in slower contemplation and review of passages.
Say something about yourself!
The narrator failed to even keep me awake it was horrid
I love Dante I read the divine comedy several times when I was younger I got my husband to get it and he wanted to drive his car off of the road... I thought he was just exaggerating until I tried to listen to it and couldn't get through five minutes :/
I would have preferred that the poem actually been read rather than descriptions of the poem
I would be interested in listening to more of Dante's poetry if I can actually get the poetry.
There were at least three repetitions in the first hour of the audio. That, in addition to a lengthy biography of Dante, was very irritating.
I've given this two stars because it's famous, but that's it. I actually couldn't finish it. The imagery in inferno is interesting, but well known, but I was losing the will to live a few hours into the Paradiso. No wonder most people only read the first book! Nothing wrong with it as an audio book, I just blame Dante! So much of it is parochial politics, people Dante knew at the time which might be quite interesting if you knew who they were but without a lifetime of study, which I'm not prepared to do, I just couldn't get into it. Read the York notes instead!
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