Dante and the Romantics (ENGLISH 206)
Dante Alighieri has profoundly influenced literary tradition. The Romantic poets admired Dante¿s capacity to find spiritual redemption in moments of personal crisis, melancholy, and alienation. They drew inspiration from his protomodern blend of lyric and epic, of romance and dream vision, and of allegorical pilgrimage and spiritual autobiography. Prophetic poets like P.B. Shelley and John Keats turned to Dante in their dying attempts at epic. William Blake illustrated The Divine Comedy and adapted the Dantean style of visionary world-making in his own illuminated poetry. T.S. Eliot (a belated Romantic in poems like ¿The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock¿) used Dante¿s technique of the dramatic monologue as a vehicle to explore character. This course will focus on The Inferno and its lasting legacy on the poetry of modernity.