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Paradiso Writing Style

Formal, Elevated

In addition to Dante's difficult 14th century Florentine dialect (which you miss altogether in translation), his text is written in meter. In other words, it's poetry – complete with a complex rhyme scheme and a definite rhythm. That's what we mean by "formal"; the text has a very specific form from which it never deviates. It also adheres to the epic genre, injecting its verses with invocations to the muses, epic similes, deus ex machina, and a laundry list of characters.

By "elevated," we mean that Dante speaks in challenging five-syllable words, never-ending sentences, and a rather stuffy tone. This is not to say that Dante is boring, if you take the time to unpack his dense words.

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