Here’s Benedict Cumberbatch reading excerpts from Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” (I’m sorry; I cannot resist making fun of this man’s name.) I don’t know how Cumberbatch’s quotes were compiled for this … Maybe they were taken from a documentary about the “Divine Comedy” that he narrated?
By far the most interesting is the quote from Canto 3 of “The Inferno.” It’s compelling in light of what’s transpiring in America, and it reminds me of my favorite quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer — “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Canto 3 in its entirety is below:
“Master, what is it that I hear? Who are
those people so defeated by their pain?”
And he to me: “This miserable way
is taken by the sorry souls of those
who lived without disgrace and without praise.
They now commingle with the coward angels,
the company of those who were not rebels
nor faithful to their God, but stood apart.
The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them –
even the wicked cannot glory in them.”
And I: “What is it, master, that oppresses
these souls, compelling them to wail so loud?”
He answered: “I shall tell you in few words.
Those who are here can place no hope in death,
and their blind life is so abject that they
are envious of every other fate.
The world will let no fame of theirs endure;
both justice and compassion must disdain them;
let us not talk of them, but look and pass.”