In Paradise, Dante's taken on an impossible task: describing the indescribable. Even St. Paul found it impossible to recount his mystical experience of heaven. The Inferno and Purgatory read like journeys onto which theological and philosophical points are appended. Paradise reads more like a theological treatise onto which a journey is appended. Dante's vision of Paradise is deeply poetic, thoughtful, theological, and thought-provoking. Dante's description of the fall of the angels (and Esolen's notes thereon) are particularly insightful.
Dante (the poet not the character in the poem) spends much effort on what constitutes a just ruler and on the relationship between Church and state. Never does he discuss the joy in heaven over the repentant sinner. Nor does he present the saints he meets as active intercessors for those on earth, though in canto xviii Dante the character does ask the heavenly army to pray for those led astray by a corrupt pope, and later (xxxii) he asks Beatrice to pray for him. In the final canto St. Bernard intercedes for Dante, begging the intercession of the Blessed Virgin that Dante may behold the beatific vision. But all those folks on earth who beg the saints to pray for them? I didn't notice any saint responding to the entreaties of those on earth, or indeed, even acknowledging that he heard their prayers.
I did not find Dore's illustrations of much value in my appreciation of Paradise, unlike with the Inferno and Purgatory. I thought the final cantos of Paradise were the volume's strongest. Esolen's Introduction and his notes are very good aids.
I've read (and reviewed on Amazon) Esolen's translations of the three books of the Divine Comedy. He's to be complimented on these highly readable and reasonably priced books.