Dante's Divine Comedy (Great Courses, #287)

  • Title: Dante's Divine Comedy (Great Courses, #287)
  • Author: William R. Cook Ronald B. Herzman
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 489
  • Format: Audio CD
  • Dante s Divine Comedy Great Courses Two gifted teachers share the fruit of two lifetimes worth of historical and literary expertise in this introduction to one of the greatest works ever written One of the most profound and satisfying o
    Two gifted teachers share the fruit of two lifetimes worth of historical and literary expertise in this introduction to one of the greatest works ever written One of the most profound and satisfying of all poems, the Divine Comedy or Commedia of Dante Alighieri 1265 1321 is a book for life.Set at Eastertide in the year 1300, the poem begins with Dante, in the middleTwo gifted teachers share the fruit of two lifetimes worth of historical and literary expertise in this introduction to one of the greatest works ever written One of the most profound and satisfying of all poems, the Divine Comedy or Commedia of Dante Alighieri 1265 1321 is a book for life.Set at Eastertide in the year 1300, the poem begins with Dante, in the middle of his life, feeling trapped in a dark wood of error.Lost and failing, he is rescued by the great Roman poet Virgil and can find his way again only by means of an extraordinary voyage.He must pass down through the nine rings of hell, up the seven levels of purgatory to the earthly paradise, and up higher still through the nine spheres of heaven to the empyrean realm where God dwells in glory.Along the way, Dante changes guides Virgil gives way to Beatrice, a young woman about whom Dante wrote in his early love poetry and who becomes his guide through most of the spheres of paradise.And Beatrice, in turn, gives way to Bernard of Clairvaux, a Christian mystic who is Dante s guide for the final cantos the poem s major divisions of the Paradiso.As Professors Cook and Herzman guide you along the journey portrayed in the Commedia, you will learn how each part of the poem is connected to what has come before You will see Dante raising the stakes as each of the questions with which he begins the poem are posed at ever deeper levels of development as the journey continues.By the time your own journey through these lectures is completed, you will learn why Dante s pilgrimage is an exceedingly enriching experience for anyone who chooses to accompany him.And you will understand why the Commedia is not a puzzle to be solved or a book to be read and put aside It is a mystery whose beauty and power can be enjoyed for the rest of your life.

    • Dante's Divine Comedy (Great Courses, #287) « William R. Cook Ronald B. Herzman
      489 William R. Cook Ronald B. Herzman
    • thumbnail Title: Dante's Divine Comedy (Great Courses, #287) « William R. Cook Ronald B. Herzman
      Posted by:William R. Cook Ronald B. Herzman
      Published :2019-01-26T18:38:09+00:00

    About William R. Cook Ronald B. Herzman


    1. Dr William R Cook is the Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at the State University of New York at Geneseo, where he has taught since 1970 He earned his bachelor s degree cum laude from Wabash College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa there He was then awarded Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Lehman fellowships to study medieval history at Cornell University, where he earned his Ph.D.Professor Cook teaches courses in ancient and medieval history, the Renaissance and Reformation periods, and the Bible and Christian thought Since 1983 Professor Cook has directed 11 Seminars for School Teachers for the National Endowment for the Humanities.His books include Images of St Francis of Assisi and Francis of Assisi The Way of Poverty and Humility Dr Cook contributed to the Cambridge Companion to Giotto and edits and contributes to The Art of the Franciscan Order in Italy.Among his many awards, Professor Cook has received the Chancellor s Award for Excellence in Teaching In 1992 the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education named him New York State s Professor of the Year In 2003 he received the first ever CARA Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Medieval Studies from the Medieval Academy of America.


    456 Comments


    1. I really enjoyed these lecturers' class on Francis of Assisi. I've begun rereading the Divine Comedy without worrying about notes, so I could just enjoy it as a work of literature (and whatever other inspiration comes to me through the story).However, it was the perfect excuse to pick up this course when my Audible credit came up. Three lessons in I am enjoying it immensely.==========I can't recommend this highly enough as an insightful, engaging overview.

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    2. When I decided to read Dante's "Divine Comedy", I figured (correctly) that I could use quite a bit of help. This Great Courses audio course features Professors William R. Cook and Ronald B. Herzman in 24 very illuminating lectures (30 minutes each) about Dante's life and times, as well as serving as a guide to reading the poem. After each lecture I would read or listen to the actual poem (see my separate review of Clive James' amazing translation). This worked really well, and I highly recommend [...]

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    3. The lecturers do a marvelous two person presentation. By switching back and forth and even interrupting each other to show how Dante felt in the Inferno when he was being rudely interrupted, this can be a very entertaining lecture and is best listened to over a day or at most two days.

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    4. What a wonderful, amazing and inspiring course about an even more fantastic book that I will need to read over and over again. Dante is such an example to me of how to deal with adversity, political intrigues, how to do self-research and face your own sins and how to use your talents for truly good purposes.

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    5. Professors Cook and Herzman pull selectively from the three stages of The Divine Comedy to illustrate the pilgrim narrator’s movement from sin and punishment (Hell) to a cleansing process (Purgatory), to a final state of redemption and oneness with God (Heaven). For Dante, one must destroy before one can rebuild. This is the point of Hell. Purgatory prepares souls for the vision of God that is seen in Heaven. At times, the similarity between Dante’s poem and the Platonic vision is striking. [...]

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    6. A very good introduction to the Divine Comedy. Brought with literary and historical context that is very helpful and in an inspiring way.

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    7. The first time I heard about Dante's famous poem was in the mid-to-late 1990's. At the time I was playing a video game called Warlords 2. Somebody made a map based upon Dante's Inferno which was considered among the highest rated maps. Ever since I admit to having a bit of a curiosity about the poem in general.I decided to finally satisfy my curiosity by listening to these lectures. Now I have a policy of not giving a star rating to books and stories which were written in centuries in which I ha [...]

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    8. Not my favorite of the great courses series. The two teachers seem very intent on proving that the divine comedy is a worthwhile piece of literature throughout the lectures. Something that does not need to be proven. There are also unmistakable tones of conversion within it for me. However, they are certainly expert in their subject area and give many helpful insights for someone reading the divine comedy.

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    9. The review is for 24 30 minutes audio lectures.Like many of the other reviewers, I had taken on the task of reading the Commedia (Cary's translation) and never made it out of hell. These lectures by the remarkable team of Professors Cook and Herzman opened my eyes to the historical content of not only individual cantos, but of the entire body of the poem, in as much as it has become an integral part of the christian religion. Now that I have listened to the course (and it really is a type of 'cl [...]

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    10. You don't have to be ashamed that you don't know your Guelfes from your Gibelins anymore (let alone your black Guelfes from your white Guelfes)!!!! The Divine Comedy is amazing and when you read it you know that you aren't getting more than 10%. This course is fascinating all the way through, every lecture. I wish more things in life were this interesting.These fellas are right when they say that when you read the Comedy the first time you are ready to read the Comedy.

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    11. Excellent walk-thru of Dante's most famous work. It helped me a great deal in connecting the "who's who" portion of Dante's work, as they explained clearly who the different people were and how their history, known at Dante's time, mattered to the story. Highly recommended.

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    12. Excellent overview, but completely agree with the statement that "Once you've read the Divine Comedy you're ready to read the Divine Comedy." Perhaps a bit too concise, but an excellent overview of the historical, theological and political aspects of the poems.

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    13. I listened to the lectures while reading the Divine Comedy, extremely helpful, I don't think I would have missed a lot of it had I not had the lectures. Highly recommend.

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    14. Both professors did an excellent job of providing insights from their academic backgrounds to better explain Dante's Divine Comedy.

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