Honors Program

Honors in English

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Joshua Reid

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Thomas H. Crofts


Dante the Pilgrim, the main character of Dante Alighieri’s La Divina Commedia, has his journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven recorded by Dante the Poet in poetic form. In the literal sense of things, readers follow Dante the Pilgrim’s journey downward into the infernal hellscape, upward onto a mountain of purgation and atonement, and into the metaphysical world of the divine. Allegorically, however, readers can also choose to view Dante the Pilgrim’s journey through The Divine Comedy as that of a person experiencing the hopelessness of depression, the challenging climb upward and outward of healing after spiraling deeply inward and, then, upon the journey’s conclusion, rejoicing in streams of light as the heavy weight of the darkness—of depression—is lifted. Throughout this thesis, I isolate instances scattered throughout Dante’s poetry that can allegorically represent the journey one undertakes as the fog of depression settles in and the valid possibility of including the medieval work into the practice of bibliotherapy.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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