the triumph of the therapeutic

#16 – Brett McKay (Art of Manliness) on Dante’s Divine Comedy


Brett McKay of Art of Manliness fame joins Online Great Books owner Scott Hambrick to discuss Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, a narrative poem best known by the titles of its three constituent parts: Inferno, Purgatorio,and Paradiso.


Dante’s tale blends Christian theology and human reason, exploring the nature of sin and redemption. Virgil, the pre-Christian author of  The Aeneid, serves as Dante’s (the character) guide through the Hell and Purgatory as well as a symbol of human reason. Meanwhile, Dante’s childhood crush and self-described “perfect woman” Beatrice guides him through Heaven. Along the way Dante the author paints a picture of Hell that informs modern depictions to this day: fire, brimstone, lurid and gory punishments.

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