Trivia / The Divine Comedy

The epic poem

  • Allstar Cast: BBC Radio did a dramatisation which featured Blake Ritson as Dante, John Hurt as an older Dante, and David Warner as Virgil
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Dante referred to the poem simply as his "comedy." The title The Divine Comedy was not adopted until later.
    • Speaking of which, Star Trek: The Next Generation said that Dante said something along the lines of "The hottest place in hell was reserved for good men who let evil happen." First, the center of hell is ice. Secondly, it's for traitors; people who are completely neutral aren't even allowed in hell, and their punishment is to go and be stuck between hell and purgatory, desiring any respite.
      • That might actually be the point. Good men who just weren't willing to commit themselves are in the bit of Hell furthest away from the ice. Thus, arguably, the bit that should be hottest.
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion fans are famous for their "four barons of hell" theory about the Evas' design. The most commonly cited source of this is the Inferno. There are no four barons of hell.
  • Dated History: In what is for modern audiences one of the most controversial issues of the Inferno, the prophet of Islam Muhammad and his son-in-law Ali are shown in the Eighth circle of Hell for promoting Schism. This was based on the assumption of Medieval European Christians that Islam was a heretical offshoot of Christianity founded in part by an Arian heretic named Bahira/Sergius the monk rather than as a distinct Abrahamic religion as it is understood today.
  • Science Marches On: In Purgatorio, we learn that the island of Purgatory is the only piece of land in antipodes (a.k.a. the Southern Hemisphere), surrounded by a huge ocean that covers one full hemisphere. To his credit, Dante always remembers that the sun would be to the north in the antipodes. (And remarkably enough, he describes a constellation of four bright stars that sounds suspiciously like the Southern Cross; he couldn't possibly have seen it, or even spoken to anyone who had. Critics generally think it's a metaphor for the Four Cardinal Virtues (fortitude, temperance, justice, and prudence) illuminating the life of the penitent sinner.)
    • Paradiso features a geocentric universe...sort of.
    • Averted in one noteworthy case: Inferno and Purgatorio clearly features a round Earth (proving that the idea that people once believed, especially during the Middle Ages, that the Earth was flat is completely wrong. The fact that the Earth is round is quite obvious to the senses and easily proven through basic geometry known since Antiquity).
  • Word of Dante: The Trope Namer is both the author of this work and the effect the work has had on people's perceptions of Hell. Despite the fact that the epic poem is not Biblical canon, and was never intended to be, a lot of what people think of when they imagine Hell comes from here. Most notably, the ideas of Self-Inflicted Hell or Ironic Hell.
  • Write Who You Know: Dante populates the spirit world with his friends and enemies, alongside mythical and historical characters.

The band

  • Creator Backlash: There was a point where the Divine Comedy didn't play "Songs of Love" live because Hannon was sick of the association with Father Ted. "National Express" also saw a period of this.
  • Creator Killer: Although it wasn't a commercial failure, "National Express" did damage to Hannon's image among critics that his career never fully recovered from, because the perceived class snobbery of its lyrics (especially the bit about the hostess with "the arse [...] the size of a small country") finally gave people who'd always hated him for his upper-class background some ammunition.
  • Old Shame: Hannon was so unhappy with the group's first release Fanfare for the Comic Muse that he spent a long time pretending it didn't exist.