The "Divine Comedy" was entitled by Dante himself merely "Commedia," meaning a poetic composition in a style intermediate between the sustained nobility of tragedy, and the popular tone of elegy. The word had no dramatic implication at that time, though it did involve a happy ending. The poem is the narrative of a journey down through Hell, up the mountain of Purgatory, and through the revolving heavens into the presence of God. In this aspect it belongs to the two familiar medieval literary types of the Journey and the Vision. It is also an allegory, representing under the symbolism of the stages and experiences of the journey, the history of a human soul, painfully struggling from sin through purification to the Beatific Vision. Contained in this volume is the third part of the "Divine Comedy," the "Paradiso" or "Paradise," from the translation of Charles Eliot Norton.
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- Title page
- CANTO I. Proem.-Invocation.-Beatrice and Dante ascend to the Sphere of Fire.-Beatrice explains the cause of their ascent.
- CANTO II. Proem.-Ascent to the Moon.-The cause of Spots on the Moon.-Influence of the Heavens.
- CANTO III. The Heaven of the Moon.-Spirits whose vows had been broken.-Piccarda Donati.-The Empress Constance.
- CANTO IV. Doubts of Dante, respecting the justice of Heaven and the abode of the blessed, solved by Beatrice.-Question of Dante as to the possibility of reparation for broken vows.
- CANTO V. The sanctity of vows, and the seriousness with which they are to be made or changed.-Ascent to the Heaven of Mercury.-The shade of Justinian.
- CANTO VI. Justinian tells of his own life.-The story of the Roman Eagle.-Spirits in the planet Mercury.-Romeo.
- CANTO VII. Discourse of Beatrice.-The Fall of Man.-The scheme of his Redemption.
- CANTO VIII. Ascent to the Heaven of Venus.-Spirits of Lovers, Source of the order and the varieties in mortal things.
- CANTO IX. The Heaven of Venus.-Conversation of Dante with Cunizza da Romano,-With Folco of Marseilles.-Rahab.-Avarice of the Papal Court.
- CANTO X. Ascent to the Sun.-Spirits of the wise, and the learned in theology.-St. Thomas Aquinas.-He names to Dante those who surround him.
- CANTO XI. The Vanity of worldly desires,-St. Thomas Aquinas undertakes to solve two doubts perplexing Dante.-He narrates the life of St. Francis of Assisi.
- CANTO XII. Second circle of the spirits of wise religious men, doctors of the Church and teachers.-St. Bonaventura narrates the life of St. Dominic, and tells the names of those who form the circle with him.
- CANTO XIII. St. Thomas Aquinas speaks again, and explains the relation of the wisdom of Solomon to that of Adam and of Christ, and declares the vanity of human judgment.
- CANTO XIV. At the prayer of Beatrice, Solomon tells of the glorified body of the blessed after the Last Judgment.-Ascent to the Heaven of Mars.-Souls of the Soldiery of Christ in the form of a Cross with the figure of Christ thereon.-Hymn of the Spirits.
- CANTO XV. Dante is welcomed by his ancestor, Cacciaguida.-Cacciaguida tells of his family, and of the simple life of Florence in the old days.
- CANTO XVI. The boast of blood.-Cacciaguida continues his discourse concerning the old and the new Florence.
- CANTO XVII. Dante questions Cacciaguida as to his fortunes.-Cacciaguida replies, foretelling the exile of Dante, and the renown of his Poem.
- CANTO XVIII. The Spirits in the Cross of Mars.-Ascent to the Heaven of Jupiter.-Words shaped in light upon the planet by the Spirits.-Denunciation of the avarice of the Popes.
- CANTO XIX. The voice of the Eagle.-It speaks of the mysteries of Divine justice
- of the necessity of Faith for salvation
- of the sins of certain kings.
- CANTO XX. The Song of the Just.-Princes who have loved righteousness, in the eye of the Eagle.-Spirits, once Pagans, in bliss.-Faith and Salvation.-Predestination.
- CANTO XXI. Ascent to the Heaven of Saturn.-Spirits of those who had given themselves to devout contemplation.-The Golden Stairway.-St. Peter Damian.-Predestination.-The luxury of modern Prelates.
- CANTO XXII. Beatrice reassures Dante.-St. Benedict appears.-He tells of the founding of his Order, and of the falling away of its brethren. Beatrice and Dante ascend to the Starry Heaven.-The constellation of the Twins.-Sight of the Earth.
- CANTO XXIII. The Triumph of Christ.
- CANTO XXIV. St. Peter examines Dante concerning Faith, and approves his answer.
- CANTO XXV. St. James examines Dante concerning Hope.-St. John appears, with a brightness so dazzling as to deprive Dante, for the time, of sight.
- CANTO XXVI. St. John examines Dante concerning Love.-Dante's sight restored.-Adam appears, and answers questions put to him by Dante.
- CANTO XXVII. Denunciation by St. Peter of his degenerate successors.-Dante gazes upon the Earth.-Ascent of Beatrice and Dante to the Crystalline Heaven.-Its nature.-Beatrice rebukes the covetousness of mortals.
- CANTO XXVIII. The Heavenly Hierarchy.
- CANTO XXIX. Discourse of Beatrice concerning the creation and nature of the Angels.-She reproves the presumption and foolishness of preachers.
- CANTO XXX. Ascent to the Empyrean.-The River of Light.-The celestial Rose.-The seat of Henry VII.-The last words of Beatrice.
- CANTO XXXI. The Rose of Paradise.-St. Bernard.-Prayer to Beatrice.-The glory of the Blessed Virgin.
- CANTO XXXII. St. Bernard describes the order of the Rose, and points out many of the Saints.-The children in Paradise.-The angelic festival.-The patricians of the Court of Heaven.
- CANTO XXXIII. Prayer to the Virgin.-The Beatific Vision.-The Ultimate Salvation.
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