Joseph Gascoigne

TALK – On hope in Dante’s Divine Comedy

Sun 28th Jul 2024, 5:15pm
SS24

Talk – Joseph Gascoigne

includes live musical illustrations performed by Stile Antico

Many consider Dante’s Divine Comedy to be among the greatest works of literature ever written and it is certainly one of the most iconic and influential pieces of mediaeval poetry. Dante’s pilgrimage through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven has had a profound impact on cultural and intellectual perceptions of the afterlife. It has also inspired countless theologians, artists, and musicians, from Boccaccio to Thomas Adès. Perhaps the poem’s most well-known line, etched above the gate of Hell, is “Abandon hope, all who enter.” This talk takes that forbidding command as a starting point for an exploration of the theme of hope in Dante’s Comedy. We shall discover that hope – both in its absence and its abundance – becomes the defining feature of Dante’s afterlife, from the hopeless desolation of Hell to the full realisation of hope in Heaven. With reference to the illustrative music in Stile Antico’s program “A Divine Hope”, this talk explores the depths and heights of Dante’s Comedy through the lens of hope.

This event is kindly supported by the Stile Antico Foundation

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Joseph Gascoigne
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