Why is Dante's poem called the Divine "Comedy"?

I got this question from Aardvark and gave a speculative answer

i’m not sure, but it may go back to the greek definitions of comedy and tragedy, which are different from ours today. for the greeks, a comedy is a drama with a happy ending and a tragedy is a drama with an unhappy ending. either can have laughs in the them. there’s more to it that i forget (tragedy involves a hero succumbing to hubris – that is, getting arrogant – and having a downfall, comedy probably had “plot rules” too), but the point is that those terms have changed. …. I think Shakespeare comedies may be the same thing: stories with happy endings and not necessarily the funny ones.

but what’s the real answer?






One response to “Why is Dante's poem called the Divine "Comedy"?”

  1. A.P. Crumlish Avatar

    Your blog wouldn’t accept comments.

    A simple definition of comedy:

    A comedy is any work where a basically sympathetic character comes to a good end. Dante the character gets to see God. That is considered a good thing. Note to be confused with the other definition of comedy, which covers the ha ha type.