Dante Alighieri, a poet born in Florence, Italy, in 1265, wrote "The Divine Comedy." An epic poem, "The Divine Comedy" is made up of three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. Many academics consider it to be largely autobiographical, according to the Academy of American Poets.
The three parts of "The Divine Comedy" trace a man's descent through the three levels of the afterlife. Alighieri wrote "The Divine Comedy" in vernacular Italian, which made it more accessible than if he had written it in the more common Latin or Greek. This epic poem is also the first-known use of the terza rima rhyming scheme. Each canto ended with a single line that rhymed with the end-word of the preceding tercet's second line. Alighieri is considered one of the most influential poets to have lived, with the poet T.S. Eliot ranking Alighieri and William Shakespeare as the only writers worth reading.