• Skip to navigation
  • Skip to content

© 2018 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Shmoop - We Speak Student


  • alt=”Shmoop – We Speak Student”>

  • Plans
  • Test Prep
  • Literature Guides
  • Learning Guides
  • Finance
  • College
  • Careers
  • Video
  • Teachers
  • Courses
  • Schools


Log In
Sign Up

 

Purgatorio

Purgatorio

  

by Dante Alighieri

  • Events /
  • Purgatory Canto I

SHMOOP PREMIUM
Summary
SHMOOP PREMIUM
SHMOOP PREMIUM

  • Intro
  • Summary

  • Purgatory Canto I
  • Purgatory Canto II
  • Purgatory Canto III (Ante-Purgatory: the Late-Repentants; the base of the mountain: the Excommunicates)
  • Purgatory Canto IV (Ante-Purgatory, the First-Spur: the Indolent)
  • Purgatory Canto V (Ante-Purgatory, the Second Spur: Those Who Died by Violence and without Last Rites)
  • Purgatory Canto VI (Ante-Purgatory, the Second Spur: Those Who Died by Violence and without Last Rites)
  • Purgatory Canto VII (Ante-Purgatory: the Valley of the Rulers)
  • Purgatory Canto VIII (Ante-Purgatory: the Valley of the Rulers)
  • Purgatory Canto IX (Ante-Purgatory: the Valley of the Rulers)
  • Purgatory Canto X (The First Terrace: the Prideful)
  • Purgatory Canto XI (First Terrace: the Prideful)
  • Purgatory Canto XII (First Terrace: the Prideful)
  • Purgatory Canto XIII (Second Terrace: the Envious)
  • Purgatory Canto XIV (Second Terrace: the Envious)
  • Purgatory Canto XV (Third Terrace: the Wrathful)
  • Purgatory Canto XVI (Third Terrace: the Wrathful)
  • Purgatory Canto XVII (Third Terrace: the Wrathful, Fourth Terrace: the Slothful)
  • Purgatory Canto XVIII (Fourth Terrace: the Slothful)
  • Purgatory Canto XIX (Fifth Terrace: the Avaricious and Prodigal)
  • Purgatory Canto XX (Fifth Terrace: the Avaricious and the Prodigal)
  • Purgatory Canto XXI (Fifth Terrace: the Avaricious and the Prodigal)
  • Purgatory Canto XXII (Sixth Terrace: the Gluttonous)
  • Purgatory Canto XXIII (the Sixth Terrace: the Gluttonous)
  • Purgatory Canto XXIV (Sixth Terrace: the Gluttonous)
  • Purgatory Canto XXV (the Seventh Terrace: the Lustful)
  • Purgatory Canto XXVI (the Seventh Terrace: the Lustful)
  • Purgatory Canto XXVII (the Seventh Terrace: the Lustful)
  • Purgatory Canto XXVIII (The Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory Canto XXIX (The Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory Canto XXX (The Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory XXXI (The Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory Canto XXXII (the Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory Canto XXXIII (the Earthly Paradise)
  • Themes
  • Quotes
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Questions
  • Quizzes
  • Flashcards
  • Best of the Web
  • Write Essay
  • Lit Glossary
  • Table of Contents
  • SHMOOP PREMIUM

Purgatorio Purgatory Canto I Summary

  •  BACK
  • NEXT 

  • Having left Hell behind (as described in Inferno), Dante begins Purgatorio with a metaphor. He compares his talent/genius to a ship that now has the task of crossing kinder waters (than those of Hell) to a place where people are cleansed of their sins: Purgatory.
  • After inflating his own ego, Dante proceeds to invoke the Muses. He asks Calliope, the head muse, to help him so that his “poem [may] rise again from Hell’s dead realm.”
  • He’s relieved to be out of Hell (located underground) and to see the sky—“the gentle hue of oriental sapphire”—again at last.
  • Now for an astronomy lesson courtesy of Dante: on the eastern horizon is the planet Venus, which looks like a very bright star. At the south pole, four old (but still shiny) stars are glowing. We know they’re ancient because Dante says they were seen by the “first people.”
  • Looking back to the north pole, Dante sees a constellation that tells him the time of day, but before he can calculate it down to the exact minute, an old man distracts him.
  • The old man is sage-like, one of those white-bearded men who immediately commands respect; perhaps even more respect because his face is framed by the light of those four significant (but secretive) stars.
  • The old man comes up to Dante and asks who he is that he could escape Hell. He follows with a deluge of questions: who was your guide? Have the laws of Hell been broken? Or have the powers that be changed them?
  • Virgil, who unlike Dante isn’t distracted by the man’s questions, forces Dante’s “knees and brow [to] show reverence.” In other words, knowing who the old man is, Virgil makes Dante kneel.
  • Then Virgil goes through his spiel, which hasn’t changed since Inferno . The Virgin Mary sent me, yada yada, Dante needed to learn a lesson, yada yada, so I guided him and showed him Hell, and now I’m going show him Purgatory… so could we have your blessing please?
  • Virgil then shows his impressive knowledge by identifying the nameless old man. Basically he says, “You’re Cato and you died in Utica for political freedom. And I (Virgil) am from the same circle in Hell as your true love, Marcia. She still prays for your love.” Then, to sweeten the deal, Virgil deals a low blow: “You should let us through Purgatory because if you do, I’ll take your condolences back to her.”
  • But Cato’s no longer a lover boy. He tells Virgil that Marcia “has no power to move me any longer” because unlike Cato, she’s in Hell.
  • Here’s the clincher. Cato tells Virgil that if he’s been sent by the Virgin Mary, there’s no need for flattery. He can go through for her sake.
  • Cato then commands Virgil to go on, but to first get Dante a new wardrobe, because burnt-to-a-crisp togas are so last year. He needs to get a new belt made out of a rush (a kind of plant) and wash his face so he can be all cleaned up for Purgatory. Cato says that they’re in luck because no plants except rushes grow on this island. After freshening up, they should start climbing Mount Purgatory.
  • With those instructions, Cato vanishes.
  • Virgil and Dante head back down to the shores to get rushes for belts.
  • Meanwhile, the sun rises. In the distance, the sea trembles. Translation: it’s pretty.
  • On the shore, the rushes are all wet with dew. Dante notices that the dew should’ve evaporated because it’s smack dab in the sunlight, but the “sea winds” protect it, so the grass is still wet.
  • Virgil places his hands on the wet grass. Dante reads his intent and kneels, letting Virgil wash his face with the dew.
  • Dante notes that they’re walking on a shore that has never felt the footstep of a living man. In other words, Dante’s very special.
  • Virgil, all business-like, ties a new rush around Dante’s waist.
  • Right where Virgil has plucked the reed, a new one immediately springs up.
  •  BACK
  • NEXT 


 Cite This Page

Logging out…

Logging out…

You’ve been inactive for a while, logging you out in a few seconds…

Why’s This Funny?

CLOSE

  • Skip to navigation
  • Skip to content

© 2018 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Shmoop - We Speak Student


  • Shmoop - We Speak Student

  • Plans
  • Test Prep
  • Literature Guides
  • Learning Guides
  • Finance
  • College
  • Careers
  • Video
  • Teachers
  • Courses
  • Schools


Log In
Sign Up

 

Purgatorio

Purgatorio

  

by Dante Alighieri

  • Events /
  • Purgatory Canto I

SHMOOP PREMIUM
Summary
SHMOOP PREMIUM
SHMOOP PREMIUM

  • Intro
  • Summary

  • Purgatory Canto I
  • Purgatory Canto II
  • Purgatory Canto III (Ante-Purgatory: the Late-Repentants; the base of the mountain: the Excommunicates)
  • Purgatory Canto IV (Ante-Purgatory, the First-Spur: the Indolent)
  • Purgatory Canto V (Ante-Purgatory, the Second Spur: Those Who Died by Violence and without Last Rites)
  • Purgatory Canto VI (Ante-Purgatory, the Second Spur: Those Who Died by Violence and without Last Rites)
  • Purgatory Canto VII (Ante-Purgatory: the Valley of the Rulers)
  • Purgatory Canto VIII (Ante-Purgatory: the Valley of the Rulers)
  • Purgatory Canto IX (Ante-Purgatory: the Valley of the Rulers)
  • Purgatory Canto X (The First Terrace: the Prideful)
  • Purgatory Canto XI (First Terrace: the Prideful)
  • Purgatory Canto XII (First Terrace: the Prideful)
  • Purgatory Canto XIII (Second Terrace: the Envious)
  • Purgatory Canto XIV (Second Terrace: the Envious)
  • Purgatory Canto XV (Third Terrace: the Wrathful)
  • Purgatory Canto XVI (Third Terrace: the Wrathful)
  • Purgatory Canto XVII (Third Terrace: the Wrathful, Fourth Terrace: the Slothful)
  • Purgatory Canto XVIII (Fourth Terrace: the Slothful)
  • Purgatory Canto XIX (Fifth Terrace: the Avaricious and Prodigal)
  • Purgatory Canto XX (Fifth Terrace: the Avaricious and the Prodigal)
  • Purgatory Canto XXI (Fifth Terrace: the Avaricious and the Prodigal)
  • Purgatory Canto XXII (Sixth Terrace: the Gluttonous)
  • Purgatory Canto XXIII (the Sixth Terrace: the Gluttonous)
  • Purgatory Canto XXIV (Sixth Terrace: the Gluttonous)
  • Purgatory Canto XXV (the Seventh Terrace: the Lustful)
  • Purgatory Canto XXVI (the Seventh Terrace: the Lustful)
  • Purgatory Canto XXVII (the Seventh Terrace: the Lustful)
  • Purgatory Canto XXVIII (The Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory Canto XXIX (The Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory Canto XXX (The Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory XXXI (The Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory Canto XXXII (the Earthly Paradise)
  • Purgatory Canto XXXIII (the Earthly Paradise)
  • Themes
  • Quotes
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Questions
  • Quizzes
  • Flashcards
  • Best of the Web
  • Write Essay
  • Lit Glossary
  • Table of Contents
  • SHMOOP PREMIUM

Purgatorio Purgatory Canto I Summary

  •  BACK
  • NEXT 

  • Having left Hell behind (as described in Inferno), Dante begins Purgatorio with a metaphor. He compares his talent/genius to a ship that now has the task of crossing kinder waters (than those of Hell) to a place where people are cleansed of their sins: Purgatory.
  • After inflating his own ego, Dante proceeds to invoke the Muses. He asks Calliope, the head muse, to help him so that his “poem [may] rise again from Hell’s dead realm.”
  • He’s relieved to be out of Hell (located underground) and to see the sky—“the gentle hue of oriental sapphire”—again at last.
  • Now for an astronomy lesson courtesy of Dante: on the eastern horizon is the planet Venus, which looks like a very bright star. At the south pole, four old (but still shiny) stars are glowing. We know they’re ancient because Dante says they were seen by the “first people.”
  • Looking back to the north pole, Dante sees a constellation that tells him the time of day, but before he can calculate it down to the exact minute, an old man distracts him.
  • The old man is sage-like, one of those white-bearded men who immediately commands respect; perhaps even more respect because his face is framed by the light of those four significant (but secretive) stars.
  • The old man comes up to Dante and asks who he is that he could escape Hell. He follows with a deluge of questions: who was your guide? Have the laws of Hell been broken? Or have the powers that be changed them?
  • Virgil, who unlike Dante isn’t distracted by the man’s questions, forces Dante’s “knees and brow [to] show reverence.” In other words, knowing who the old man is, Virgil makes Dante kneel.
  • Then Virgil goes through his spiel, which hasn’t changed since Inferno . The Virgin Mary sent me, yada yada, Dante needed to learn a lesson, yada yada, so I guided him and showed him Hell, and now I’m going show him Purgatory… so could we have your blessing please?
  • Virgil then shows his impressive knowledge by identifying the nameless old man. Basically he says, “You’re Cato and you died in Utica for political freedom. And I (Virgil) am from the same circle in Hell as your true love, Marcia. She still prays for your love.” Then, to sweeten the deal, Virgil deals a low blow: “You should let us through Purgatory because if you do, I’ll take your condolences back to her.”
  • But Cato’s no longer a lover boy. He tells Virgil that Marcia “has no power to move me any longer” because unlike Cato, she’s in Hell.
  • Here’s the clincher. Cato tells Virgil that if he’s been sent by the Virgin Mary, there’s no need for flattery. He can go through for her sake.
  • Cato then commands Virgil to go on, but to first get Dante a new wardrobe, because burnt-to-a-crisp togas are so last year. He needs to get a new belt made out of a rush (a kind of plant) and wash his face so he can be all cleaned up for Purgatory. Cato says that they’re in luck because no plants except rushes grow on this island. After freshening up, they should start climbing Mount Purgatory.
  • With those instructions, Cato vanishes.
  • Virgil and Dante head back down to the shores to get rushes for belts.
  • Meanwhile, the sun rises. In the distance, the sea trembles. Translation: it’s pretty.
  • On the shore, the rushes are all wet with dew. Dante notices that the dew should’ve evaporated because it’s smack dab in the sunlight, but the “sea winds” protect it, so the grass is still wet.
  • Virgil places his hands on the wet grass. Dante reads his intent and kneels, letting Virgil wash his face with the dew.
  • Dante notes that they’re walking on a shore that has never felt the footstep of a living man. In other words, Dante’s very special.
  • Virgil, all business-like, ties a new rush around Dante’s waist.
  • Right where Virgil has plucked the reed, a new one immediately springs up.
  •  BACK
  • NEXT 


 Cite This Page

Logging out…

Logging out…

You’ve been inactive for a while, logging you out in a few seconds…

Why’s This Funny?

CLOSE

Outline of Purgatorio — Canto by Canto

Purgatorio, Canto I

Synopsis: Dante has left Hell. The second part of the
poem begins with the invocation to the Muses to accompany his song. Dawn approaches and he
feels renewed as he sees four stars into the heavens. Then he sees a dignified old man
standing near him: Cato of Utica. He questions Dante end Virgil as he
thinks they escaped from Hell. Virgil explains purpose of Dante’s journey, and why He is
still a still living man doing this journey. Cato, then, instructs Virgil to make sure
Dante gets cleansed with a reed. The two descend to the shore, and Virgil performs the
cleansing ritual.

Purgatorio, canto II

Synopsis: As the Sun rises on the shores of Purgatorio,
Dante sees a reddish glow moving across the waters. The light approach at an incredible
speed: it a boat moved by the wings of an angel. It brings the souls of the Redeemed who
are singing a liturgical songs. The souls get off, and wander on the shore, not knowing
what to do. Dante and Virgil join them, all stranger to the place. In the crowd Dante
recognizes a friend, Casella, who sings one of Dante’s song. The crowd is broken by Cato,
who urges them to go to the mountain.

Purgatorio, Canto III

Synopsis: The journey resumes, and Dante realizes the
enormous height of the mountain. Then he realizes that he is the only one casting a
shadow, which leads to Virgil explaining the theory of the non physical bodies, and how
they have physical sensations. As they reach the foot of the mountain, Dante finds that is
very hard to go up, because it is too steep. Meanwhile a band of souls moving slowly
appears; they are scared at seeing Dante alive. These are the souls of the excommunicated.
Dante talks to Manfred, who repented at the last moment, still
excommunicated by the Church. Manfred presents himself not as an emperor, but as a family
men.

Purgatorio, Canto IV

Synopsis: After talking to Manfred, Dante is absorbed
in a discussion with Virgil and is not aware of time passing: he realizes that when his
faculties are taken by intense thought, he becomes unaware of everything else. The climb
is hard, and when they reach the first ledge, the poet is amazed at the sun’s location,
which is opposite to what he is used to see. Virgil explains that this is so because they
are in the Southern Hemisphere. Their conversation is interrupted by Belacqua,
an old friend of Dante., who is seating there doing nothing. He was slow in accepting
salvation, and must wait outside Purgatorio. Belacqua repeats the doctrine that people
alive can help them through their prayers.

Purgatorio, Canto V

Synopsis: As he leaves behind the souls of the lazy, Dante sees, as he
goes up, another group: the souls of the Late Repentant, as they are
chanting a liturgical song. These are the souls of people who died a violent death, but
managed to repent in their final moments. Dante talks to three of them: 1) Jacopo
del Cassero
, who tells how he was ambushed and left to bleed to death in a swamp.
Buonconte da Montefeltro, who tells of a struggle between the forces of good and evil over
his body and soul at his death. He was saved because he died with Mary’s name in his heart
and a true repentant. Finally Dante talks to Pia de’ Tolomei who gently
asks Dante to remember her.

Purgatorio, Canto VI

Synopsis: More souls crowd Dante, once they realize he is alive, to
ask him to bring the message to their relatives about the help they may give receive.
Dante recognizes quite a few of them, then asks Virgil how the power of prayer affect the
will of heaven. Virgil is able to give only a partial explanation, referring the question
to Beatrice, who will give him a more comprehensive education of the matter. Then he sees
one near by by standing alone in silence. Virgil and Dante go to him to ask for
directions. When the stranger learns that Virgil is from Mantua by birth, he embraces him.
This is Sordello, a poet of the Proven�al language. At this point, the poet digress with
a powerful invective against the evil and corruption in Italy.

Purgatorio, Canto VII

Synopsis: The narrative continues after Dante’s invective against
Italy. Sordello continues his embrace of Virgil as he realizes that his countryman is also
the great poet Virgil, the very glory of the Latin race. Virgil explains to Sordello the
nature of Dante’s journey and asks for the quickest way to continue up on the mountain.
Sordello volunteers to guide them, but nightfall approaches and tell them that they had to
stop. It is the law of Purgatorio that no one may go up without the light of the sun. Then
Sordello takes Dante to a peaceful place to rest: the valley of the negligent princes. As
they get there, they hear a liturgical song: Salve Regina. Sordello then points
to a number of princes.

Purgatorio, Canto VIII

Synopsis: The canto begins with all the souls
singing another liturgical evening chant. Meanwhile two angels descend from Heaven taking
position on both sites of the entrance. Sordello explains that they have come to guard the
valley against the serpent who will appear at any moment. The three step into the valley
to meet the princes, Dante recognizes Nino Visconti, who discusses his
wife’s infidelity to his memory by remarrying. Then he notices three stars that cannot be
seen in the northern hemisphere. The serpent comes and the angels chase it away. The
evening passes with Dante talking to Nino and Currado Malaspina.

Purgatorio, Canto IX

Synopsis: Dante falls asleep, and near dawn, dreams that he is being
snatched up into the sphere of fire by an eagle. The imaginary heat of his dream wakes him
up, and he is confused and terrified until he sees Virgil near by. Virgil explains that
they have now come to the gates of Purgatory, and that, While Dante was
asleep, a lady named Lucia came and brought him up. As Dante gets near
the gates, he sees three steps of different colors leading up to the entrance. The first
is white marble, the second is darker than black, the
third is fiery red. On the last step stands a guardian angel,
clothed in ash garments, and holding a sword. He traces seven "P"
on Dante’s forehead, telling him to wash away these wounds as he goes through Purgatory.
Then the angel takes two keys — one gold and one silver — given to him
by St. Peter so he can unlock the gates. He warns Dante not to look back as he gets in.
The two poets enter the gates and hear a liturgical song.

Purgatorio, Canto X

Synopsis: Dante and Virgil pass through the gate which closes behind
them. They make their way up a narrow path to emerge on a deserted ledge. The walls that
rise on the side of this ledge are adorned with carvings in white marble, all of them
offering example of the virtue of humility. The first example is the scene of the
Annunciation, the second represents David who, having set aside his kingly dignity, humbly
dances before the Lord, and the third scene presents the emperor Trajan stopping his
warriors to listen to a poor widow’s plea for justice. Then the poets see a group of souls
coming toward them. These are the Proud who, beating their breasts, make
their way around the ledge under a heavy wight they carry on their backs.

Purgatorio, Canto XI

Synopsis: The canto opens with the prayer of the Proud — an expanded
of the Lord’s Prayer. Virgil asks the Penitent to tell him the quickest way up the
mountain, and one of them complies. He is Omberto Aldombrandino, who
acknowledges that the si of Pride has ruined not only himself but his entire house. The
Dante is recognized by Oderisi of Gubbio, who proclaims the empty glory
of human talent.. The canto ends with the third soul, Provenzan Salvani, dictator of
Siena.

Purgatorio, Canto XII

Synopsis: As they leave the souls of the Proud, Virgil calls Dante’s
attention to a new set of carvings in the rock beneath their feet. These are examples of
the vice of Pride as it is being punished. There are 13 examples divided in three groups
of four plus one as conclusion that reprises all three themes. Finally, Virgil has Dante
lift his head as he is about to encounter the Angel of Humility. The
angel, with a brush of his wing, removes the first P from
Dante’s forehead, and the first of the beatitudes is heard: "Blessed the poor in
spirit.
" As the first P is removed, Dante feels
lighter, and able to climb the mountain with less effort.

Purgatorio, Canto XIII

Synopsis: Dante and Virgil reach the second terrace, which is set in
the livid color of stone. They don’t see anyone around to ask for direction, Virgil turns
his attention to the Sun for guidance. As the two walk along the terrace, they hear a
disembodied voice crying out examples of Generosity, the virtue that is
opposite to Envy. Two of the examples are from the Gospels, one from
Greek history. Then Dante becomes aware of how the sin of Envy is punished: the penitent
are sitting next to each other against the rocks reciting the Litany (a serial monotonous
prayer). They are dressed in coarse haircloth, their eyelids have been stitched shut with
iron thread. Dante here talks to Sapia from Siena, who confesses she
rejoiced in the defeat of her own townsmen at the battle of Colle.

Purgatorio, canto XIV

Synopsis: The canto opens with two blind souls excited by their
awareness of Dante’s presence. They ask Dante where he is coming from, and as he says that
he is coming from the "valley of the Arno river," one of the penitent begins a
lengthy outburst of anti-Tuscan sentiment. This is Guido del Duca, and
the other, Rinier da Calboli, does the same against his country, Romagna
(a northern Italian region). As Dante leaves the section of Envy, he hears more voices —
examples of Envy.

Purgatorio, Canto XV

Synopsis: Passage from the second to the third terrace. The poet is
stunned by the light emanating from the Angel, and Virgil tells him that soon he will
become accustomed to bright light. The Angel performs the ritual of passage, with the
cleansing of the second P, and the singing of the second
Beatitude "Blessed are the Merciful." Then Virgil explains the
difference between earthly and heavenly possessions. He arrives to the Third
Terrace
, where the sin of Wrath is cleansed. The poet’s first
experience consists of three examples of Meekness, the virtue opposite to
the sin of Wrath. These come in ecstatic visions: the first is the Virgin Mary questioning
Christ when he was late in the Temple, the second is about Pisistratus who forgives the
man who embraced his daughter, and the third is Lazarus, the first martyr. The canto ends
with the appearance a thick black cloud of fog which envelops the poets.

Purgatorio, Canto XVI

Synopsis: Dante is blinded by the smoke and clings to Virgil. He hears
the voices of the Wrathful singing the Agnus Dei. One of the souls, Marco
Lombardo
, comes forward to speak with Dante and, at his invitation, accompanies
him (and Virgil) to the end of the smoke-filled space, discussing problems connected with
the present-day corruption of society. He downplays the influences of the stars on human
affairs, affirms the existence of Free Will, and points out the lack of
good leadership in church and state.

Purgatorio, Canto XVII

Synopsis: As Dante emerges from the cloud of smoke that surrounds the
Wrathful, the sun is about to set. He experiences three more visions of examples of Wrath
from classical and biblical sources. Then the Angel of Meekness appears
and points the way to continue the journey up the mountain. Another P
disappears from Dante’s forehead, and the poets hear another beatitude: Blessed are
the Peacemakers
. As they reach the Fourth Terrace, Dante and Virgil feel weak, and
rest from the journey. This is the terrace of the Slothful. Night has
arrived, and Virgil takes advantage of the pause to talk to Dante on the Nature of
Love
, showing that all the sins in Purgatory derive from one of the three
perversions of Love. The discussion continues next canto.

Purgatorio, Canto XVIII

Synopsis: The first part of the canto concludes the philosophical
discourse by Virgil on the nature of Love, and the second presents the content of the
Terrace the Slothful. Dante asks for more detailed information on the subject of Love, and
Virgil concludes his discourse. As Dante is about to fall asleep, a group of Penitent
rushes from behind. These are the Slothful. They walk fast, shouting examples of the
virtue of Solicitude (which is opposite to Sloth). One of them, the Abbot of St. Zeno,
exchanges a few words with Virgil. The canto ends with Dante falling asleep.

Purgatorio, Canto XIX

Synopsis: Just before dawn Dante dreams of a woman who is ugly,
cross-eyed, maimed, and with ugly skin. But as he stares at her, she loses her deformities
and takes on a very desirable aspect. She is the Siren, and her singing
captivates the poet, until a saintly lady appears to show her ugliness and stench, which
wakes up Dante. As the two poets begin their third day, the Angel of Zeal
appears and washes up another P form Dante’s forehead, while
they hear the beatitude Blessed are they who mourn. Dante and Virgil reach the
next terrace, and see souls stretched out on the ground everywhere, as they recite a
prayer. These are the Avaricious. Dante talks to Pope Adrian V,
who explains the condition of the Penitent, and asks Dante to bring news of him to his
niece, the only one free from corruption.

Purgatorio, Canto XX

Synopsis: As the two poets begin their way through the terrace of the
avaricious, they hear someone calling out examples of the virtue opposite to greed. The
speaker if Hugh Capet, forefather of the Capetian dynasty. In talking to Dante, he
denounces his descendants for their avarice. Then he explains that the Penitent keep
reciting examples of condemnation of Avarice. Another list of examples is followed by a
mysterious trembling of the mountain, and a song of praise: Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Purgatorio, Canto XXI

Synopsis: As Dante and Virgil walk along the Terrace of Avaricious, a
shade appears and speak to them. Virgil explains Dante’s presence, and asks him the reason
for the trembling. The shade says that the Mountain of Purgatory is not affected by
Nature, such as rain, winds, and lightning, but when a soul feels it is time to progress,
or to be free of Purgatorio altogether, the mountain shakes from joy. This time the
trembling was for his release: he is the Latin poet Statius, an imitator
of Virgil, author of minor epics on Achilles and Thebe. Statius expresses his desire to
have lived at the same time as Virgil, and to have met the poet. Dante reveals Virgil’s
identity to Statius, who embraces Virgil, only to be reminded that both are shades.

Purgatorio, Canto XXII

Synopsis: Leaving the Fifth Terrace, Dante and
Virgil accompanied by Statius are directed to the next ledge by the Angel who
removes another P from Dante’s forehead, and recites the
beatitude for the section. There is a long discussion between Virgil and Statius on
various matters, one of them dealing with Statius’s conversion; it is here that the
Virgil’s fourth Eclogue is brought up. In the meantime they arrive to the Sixth
Terrace
, of the Gluttonous. They see, in the middle of the road,
a tree with sweet-smelling fruits with a cascade of fresh water raining down on the
leaves. From the tree comes a voice shouting examples of moderation, a virtue opposite to
gluttony.

Purgatorio, Canto XXIII

Synopsis: As the poets get closer to the tree,
they hear a liturgical song. Then they see a quick moving group of emaciates spirits with
famished faces coming from behind them. Dante recognizes one of them from his voice — he
would have never recognized his face because it was altered by starvation. He is Forese
Donati
. Dante is surprised to see him so up on the mountain, since he was a late
repentant and dead for only five years. Forese tells Dante it had been his wife Nella’s
prayers ho helped him advance. This brings Forese to pass judgment against the corrupted
custom of contemporary Florentine women. The canto ends with Dante explaining Forese the
reason for his journey.

Purgatorio, Canto XXIV

Synopsis: Dante and Forese continue their
conversation. Forese mentions that his sister Piccarda is already in heaven, and then
points out a number of souls present here. The most important for Dante is Bonaggiunta
Orbicciani
, another poet of the earlier school of poetry than Dante’s. The topic
of their discussion is the meaning of true poetry. Bonaggiunta recognizes in Dante the new
poet, who has expressed new rhymes. Then Dante states his poetical manifesto as the
sweet new style
: that is poetry derives from true inspiration and must
be pleasing at the same time. Then the Penitent moves away, and Dante is left with Forese
for further talk. In the meantime the group reach another tree, and from this tree
examples of gluttony come out. The canto ends with the Angel of Abstinence
performing the usual ritual, wiping out the sixth P from Dante’s
forehead, and showing him the way to the next terrace.

Purgatorio, Canto XXV

Synopsis: This is another doctrinal canto. It starts with Dante asking
how the Penitent on the sixth terrace could be so emaciated, if they have no physical
body. Virgil is not able to answer, and calls upon Statius, who embarks on a long
discussion based on science and theology: the development of the soul from
conception to the after-life.
When he has finished, the three, Dante, Virgil and
Statius, have arrived at the Seventh Terrace, where they discover a wall of fire. From
inside the flames Dante hears another liturgical song, and sees the souls of the Lustful.
Then they see examples of chastity, the virtue opposite the sin of Lust. These are
followed by examples of husbands and wives who observe the laws of virtuous marriage.

Purgatorio, Canto XXVI

Synopsis: In this canto the discourse on poetry is brought to
conclusion with Dante meeting two poets: Guido Guinizelli and Arnaut
Daniel
. This is the last terrace, where the Lustful, divided into two groups
running in opposite direction, embrace each other as they meet. Each group quotes opposite
example of the sin of lust: the Sodomites, and the Heterosexual or Bisexual
(hermaphroditic, as Dante says). The Penitent that explains this to Dante is Guido
Guinizelli, considered by Dante the forefather of the new poetry. However, Guinizelli does
not accept the credit, and points to a poet greater than himself in vernacular rhymes,
Arnaut Daniel, who concludes the canto by introducing himself in his own language,
Proven�al (the only one who does speak Florentine).

Purgatorio, Canto XXVII

Synopsis: As the day ends, and the sun is getting close to sunset,
Dante is still afraid to enter the fire and go to the other side. He then encounters the
Angel of Chastity who performs the last ritual, followed by the last Beatitude: Blessed
the pure in
heart. The Angel reminds Dante that he can go no further without passing
through the flames. As Dante hesitates for a long time, Virgil urges him to so by
reminding him that Beatrice is waiting for him. Then he enters the fire feeling
excruciating heat. As they emerge on the other side, they hear the invitation to proceed,
and the Angel urges them to climb as long as there is daylight. Soon the sun sets, and the
three, feeling exhausted, stop to rest.Toward morning, Dante dreams of Leah
and Rachel. Who represent the Active and Contemplative Life.
When he wakes up, Dante feels refreshed and eager to continue. The canto ends with Virgil
describing the moral development achieved by the poet — and that he no longer needs his
guidance. Virgil’s last words: he crowns Dante master of himself.

Purgatorio, Canto XXVIII

Synopsis: Dante walks along in the heavenly forest until a stops him.
On the other side of the stream he sees a lady singing and gathering flowers. At Dante’s
request, she approaches him, and smiling from the opposite bank, tells him that this is Earthly
Paradise
, the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were created.
She explains that the constant moving gentle breeze is caused by Earth’s rotation, and
explains the reproduction of plant life. She further speaks of two streams in the Garden, Lethe
and Euno�, the first washes away the memory of sin, and the second
restores the memory of good deeds.

Purgatorio, Canto XXIX

Synopsis: When Matelda has finished speaking, she begin to sing, and
moves upstream, with Dante keeping pace with her on the opposite side of the stream. Soon
Matelda stops, and tells Dante to pay attention: A strong light is seen in the air, and a
heavenly pageant approaches. It is led by seven golden candlesticks, which produce a light
that extends over the procession that follows them. Next come twenty-four elders, two by
two, and behind them four creatures. They form a square, in which there is a chariot drawn
by a griffin. To the right of the chariot there are three ladies dressed in three colors:
one red, one white, and one green; to the left of the chariot there are four ladies
dressed in purple, and finally an old man alone — the author the Book of Revelation. The
chariot stops with a thunder opposite Dante.

Purgatorio, Canto XXX- and Canto XXXI

Synopsis: — XXX: As the procession comes to a halt, the twenty-four
elders tun toward the chariot. One of them sings: "Come, o bride, from Lebanon".
A hundred singing angel appear overhead, filling the air with a rain of flowers. Through
the flowers Beatrice appears. Dante turns to Virgil to express his
astonishment, only to find out that he is gone. Beatrice then speaks harshly to Dante,
calling him by name and reprimanding him for having wasted his talents, wandering from the
path that leads to Truth. So hopeless, in fact, was his case, to such depths did he sinks,
that the journey to see the souls of the Damned in Hell was the only way of setting him
back on the road to salvation. — XXXI: Beatrice concludes her harsh remark, and Dante is
left incapable of speech. He is overcome by remorse, admits his guilty, and faints for
shame. When he comes to his sense, he discovers that Matelda has drawn him into the
stream, Lethe, immersing him completely so he drinks some of the waters. The she leads him
on the other side, where he is accepted by dancing ladies. At this point he can stare at
Beatrice in the eyes, where he sees the reflection of the griffin, and the mystical union
between Dante and Beatrice takes place.

Purgatorio, canto XXXII

Synopsis: Dante and Statius, along with
Matelda, follow the procession, which stops in front of a tree, where Beatrice descends
from the cart. This is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but it stripped bare of
leaves and fruit — as a result of Adam and Eve’s transgression. The griffin is attached
the chariot to the tree, which immediately blooms — this means Christ’s redemption which
gave new life to humanity. Then Dante falls asleep. As he is awaken by Matelda, he
realizes that the procession is gone, only Beatrice with her seven handmaidens are here.

Purgatorio, Canto XXXIII

Synopsis: The Seven Ladies sing, weeping over the sorrowful fate of
the chariot , and Beatrice grieves. But soon they move on, the seven ladies, followed by
Beatrice, with Dante, Matelda and Statius behind her. As they walk, Beatrice gives an
obscure prophecy predicting the eventual deliverance of the Church, and instructs Dante to
repeat in writing exactly what he has seen, in order to instruct the living. At Dante’s
request, Beatrice explains that her difficult language is needed to teach divine subjects,
which are at times not understandable to human intellect. Then they come to the second
stream, Euno�, and Matelda, as told by Beatrice, leads Dante to drink its waters, which
restores his recollection of good things. This is the last ritual in Purgatorio, and Dante
says that the pages for the second canticle of the Commedia are all filled, and
he is now ready to rise to the stars.