Lecture 9 - Inferno XXX, XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV

author: Giuseppe Mazzotta, Department of Italian, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 7, 2010,   recorded: October 2008,   views: 37193
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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The final cantos of Inferno are read with a view to the role of the tragic within Dante's Comedy. Using Dante's discussion of tragedy in the De vulgari eloquentia as a point of departure, Professor Mazzotta traces the disintegration of language that accompanies the pilgrim's descent into the pit of Hell, the zone of treachery, from the distorted speech of Nimrod in Inferno XXXI to the silence of Satan in Inferno XXXIV. The ultimate triumph of comedy over tragedy is dramatized by the pilgrim's ascent, by means of Lucifer, onto the shores of Mount Purgatory.

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