Purgatory piece of trilogy

Author: DANTE ALIGHIERI

Trilogi: Divine comedy

Defenition: Purgatory 

Purgatorio picks up right where Inferno left off—Dante and Virgil have just emerged from their tour through Hell.

This poem was completed at the beginning of 14th century. Actually, it is an allegory, which tells about Dante`s climbing up to the Purgatory Mount. As it is known from the previous part, Dante is guided by Virgil, one of the greatest Roman poets. In the end, Beatrice starts leading the author to some new places.

If analyzing the poem, Purgatory is represented by a mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, which consists of some related sections. Among them are Ante-Purgatory (the bottom section), seven levels of torment and spiritual growth, and the Earthly Paradise at the top. In fact, Purgatory symbolizes the Christian life, which is full of difficulties and trials. Dante discusses here the nature of the sin, some moral issues, which exist in politics and Church. From all said and written in this poem, it becomes clear that all sins are because of either love for harm or the deficiency of feelings, or the disordered love, as well as excessive.

The sun rises on Easter Sunday, Dante and Virgil begin their journey. Near the Purgatory, Dante meets Cato, who was the guardian there, placed by God. Two poets begin their climbing early in the morning. Going through the lowest slopes, Dante and Virgil meet souls, who suffer from delayed or deficient Christian life. In other words, some of them are here because of the excommunicate, while others because of the late repentant. The Late-Repentant area is for those who were too lazy or too busy to repent, as well as for those who have repented in the last minutes, as the result of violent deaths or accidents. Here poets meet the troubadour Sordello, who is from Mantua just like Virgil. Virgil is not as good guide through the Purgatory as through the Hell. So, Sordello being a resident here tries to explain something for them. He tells them the Rule of the Mountain: after sunset, nobody is able to climb nowhere. As it is sunset already, Dante decides to stop for a night in the beautiful valley of the Princess, where he meets some people like Henry the Third, Ottokar, Phillip the Bold, Rudolph.

In the morning, after going through the gates, Virgil leads Dante the mountain’s seven terraces. The first three terraces represent sins, which are caused by perverted love and harm towards others. Pride is the first sin. Dante and Virgil see here charming sculptures, which express humility and souls, trying to purge their sin. The second terrace is for souls full of envy. Right on the entering to this region, poets hear various voices telling stories about generosity. On the third terrace, Dante watches the examples of meekness. It is the terrace of the wrathful, where the Virgin Mary instead of being angry with Her Child, loves and cares about Him. The souls here walk in the smoke, what symbolizes bad blinding effect of anger and wrath. On the fourth terrace, Dante finds souls whose sin was because of the love deficiency. Souls here always do something. They are involved in the non-stop activity, as spiritual laziness surely leads to depression and sadness. The fifth terrace those who were obsessive by some earthy goods being greedy are punished and purified. Meeting different people, poets feel the earthquake, alongside with the shouting of Gloria in excelsis Deo. Dante wants to know about this earthquake. They meet the Roman poet Statius, who is willing to explain them everything: it is a soul`s tremor, which shows that somebody is ready to enter Heaven. The sixth terrace represents the sin of the gluttony. Here, the poets see the Virgin Mary, who is sharing her Son`s gifts with all people. It is a great example of virtue opposed to gluttony. The last terrace of the lustful requires everyone to pass through the immense wall. Many souls just run through the fire calling out different examples of lust.

Finally, Virgil and Dante reach the summit of the Purgatory Mount. It is the Earthly Paradise or Garden of Eden. Dante meets Matilda here, who prepares him for the meeting with Beatrice. The appearance of Beatrice is a dramatic scene, where she rebukes Dante for his sin. Dante goes to the Lethe River. It helps him to erase the memory about the past sin. In the end, he drinks from the River Eunoë, restoring his good memories and preparing himself for Heaven.