From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Purgatorio (disambiguation).
|This article is part of a series about|
Dante's Divine Comedy
|Inferno · · Paradiso|
Purgatorio (pronounced [purɡaˈtɔːrjo]; Italian for "Purgatory") is the second part of Dante's Divine Comedy, following the Inferno, and preceding theParadiso. The poem was written in the early 14th century. It is an allegorytelling of the climb of Dante up the Mount of Purgatory, guided by theRoman poet Virgil, except for the last four cantos at which point Beatricetakes over as Dante's guide. In the poem, Purgatory is depicted as a mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, consisting of a bottom section (Ante-Purgatory), seven levels of suffering and spiritual growth (associated with the seven deadly sins), and finally the Earthly Paradise at the top. Allegorically, the poem represents the Christian life, and in describing the climb Dante discusses the nature of sin, examples of vice and virtue, as well as moral issues in politics and in the Church. The poem outlines a theory that all sin arises from love – either perverted love directed towards others' harm, or deficient love, or the disordered or excessive love of good things.
|Dante and Virgil Approach the Angel who guards the entrance of Purgatory|
"Reader! thou markest how my theme doth rise,
Nor wonder therefore, if more artfully
I prop the structure! Nearer now we drew,
Arriv’d’ whence in that part, where first a breach
As of a wall appear’d, I could descry
A portal, and three steps beneath, that led
For inlet there, of different colour each,
And one who watch’d, but spake not yet a word.
As more and more mine eye did stretch its view,
I mark’d him seated on the highest step,
In visage such, as past my power to bear.....
A heavenly dame, not skilless of these things,”
Replied the’ instructor, “told us, even now,
‘Pass that way: here the gate is.” — “And may she
Befriending prosper your ascent,” resum’d
The courteous keeper of the gate: “Come then
Before our steps.” We straightway thither came.
The lowest stair was marble white so smooth
And polish’d, that therein my mirror’d form
Distinct I saw. The next of hue more dark
Than sablest grain, a rough and singed block,
Crack’d lengthwise and across. The third, that lay
Massy above, seem’d porphyry, that flam’d
Red as the life-blood spouting from a vein.
On this God’s angel either foot sustain’d,
Upon the threshold seated, which appear’d
A rock of diamond. Up the trinal steps
My leader cheerily drew me. “Ask,” said he,
“With humble heart, that he unbar the bolt.”