Guided by the poet Virgil, Dante plunges to the very depths of Hell and embarks on his arduous journey towards God. Together they descend through the twenty-four circles of the underworld and encounter the tormented souls of the damned—from heretics and pagans to gluttons, criminals and seducers—who tell of their sad fates and predict events still to come in Dante's life. In this first part of The Divine Comedy, Dante fused satire and humor with intellect and soaring passion to create an immortal Christian allegory of mankind's search for self-knowledge and spiritual enlightenment.
Dorothy L. Sayers's landmark translation follows Dante's terza rima stanzas and brings his poetry vividly to life. In her introduction she discusses the poem's allegorical style, and the historical and political background to Dante's turbulent life. This edition also includes notes, appendices, a glossary, updated further reading, maps and diagrams.