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A discussion of the concept of love in the purgatorio

Inferno Dante As described in the Infernothe first twenty-four hours of Dante's journey took place on earth and started on the evening of Maundy Thursday24 March or 7 April 1300 Inf. Dante and Virgil spent the next day ascending from Hell to see the stars Inf. They arrive at the shore of the Mountain of Purgatory—the only land in the Southern Hemisphere—at 6 AM on the morning of Easter Sunday[2] which is 6 PM on Sunday evening in Jerusalemsince the two points are antipodal.

Dante describes Hell as existing underneath Jerusalem, having been created by the impact of Lucifer 's fall; the Mountain of Purgatory was created by a displacement of rock caused by the same event. Dante begins the Purgatorio by invoking the Muses In Purg. Now I shall sing the second kingdom there where the soul of man is cleansed, made worthy to ascend to Heaven. Here from the dead let poetry rise up, O sacred Muses, since I am yours. Here let Calliope arise. The Purgatorio demonstrates the medieval knowledge of a spherical Earth[5] [6] with Dante referencing the different stars visible in the Southern Hemisphere, the altered position of the sun, and the various timezones of the Earth.

For instance, at the start of Canto II, the reader learns that it is dawn in Purgatory; Dante conveys this concept by explaining that it is sunset at Jerusalem antipodal to the Mount of Purgatorymidnight six hours later over India on the River Ganges with the constellation Libra overhead thereand noon six hours earlier over Spain.

The journey is conceived as taking place during the vernal equinoxwhen the days and nights are of the same length. Christian souls arrive singing, escorted by an angel In a contrast to Charon 's ferry across the Acheron in the Inferno, Christian souls are escorted by an Angel Boatman from their gathering place somewhere near Ostiathe seaport of Rome at the mouth of the Tiberthrough the Pillars of Hercules across the seas to the Mountain of Purgatory.

In his Letter to CangrandeDante explains that this reference to Israel leaving Egypt refers both to the redemption of Christ and to "the conversion of the soul from the sorrow and misery of sin to a discussion of the concept of love in the purgatorio state of grace".

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On the lower slopes designated as "Ante-Purgatory" by commentatorsDante and Virgil encounter two main categories of souls whose penitent Christian life was delayed or deficient: The former are detained at the base of the cliff for a period thirty times as long as their period of contumacy.

The excommunicate include Manfred of Sicily. Manfred explains that prayer from those currently alive and in the grace of God may reduce the amount of time a soul spends in purgatory.

The Late-Repentant includes 1 those too lazy or too preoccupied to repent the Indolent2 those who repented at the last minute without formally receiving last ritesas a result of violent deaths, and 3 the Negligent Rulers.

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These souls will be admitted to Purgatory thanks to their genuine repentance, but must wait outside for an amount of time equal to their lives on earth. The lazy include Belacqua possibly a deceased friend of Dantewhom Dante is relieved to discover here, rather than in Hell. The meeting with Belacqua is over by noon Canto IV. When Sordello discovers the great poet's identity, he bows down to him in honour.

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This helps keep Virgil in the foreground of the poem, since as a resident of Limbo Virgil is less qualified as a guide here than he was in Hell.

John Ciardi writes that these Negligent Rulers are "elevated above their negligent subjects because their special duties made it difficult for them to think about the welfare of their own souls".

As night approaches, the souls sing the Compline hymns Salve Regina and Te lucis ante terminum. Dante's beautiful description of evening in this valley was the inspiration for a similar passage in Byron 's Don Juan: Dante falls asleep at 8: This gate has three steps: The angel at Peter's Gate uses two keyssilver remorse and gold reconciliation to open the gate — both are necessary for redemption and salvation.

These correspond to the seven deadly sins or "seven roots of sinfulness": The classification of sin here is more psychological than that of the Inferno, being based on motives, rather than actions. Those in Purgatory can leave their circle voluntarily, but will only do so when they have corrected the flaw within themselves that led to committing that sin.

The structure of the poetic description of these terraces is more systematic than that of the Inferno, and associated with each terrace are an appropriate prayer and beatitude. Relief in Auch Cathedral, Canto 10.

Building the Tower of Babel was, for Dante, an example of pride. Painting by Pieter Brueghel the ElderCanto 12. The first three terraces of Purgatory relate to sins caused by a perverted love directed towards actual harm of others. The first of the sins is Pride. Dante and Virgil begin to ascend this terrace shortly after 9 AM. The first example is of the Annunciation to the Virgin Marywhere she responds to the angel Gabriel with the words Ecce ancilla Dei "Behold the handmaid of the Lord," Luke 1: An example of humility from classical history is the Emperor Trajanwho, according to a medieval legend, once stopped his journey to render justice to a poor widow Canto X.

Also associated with humility is an expanded version of the Lord's Prayer: Our Father, You who dwell within the heavens but are not circumscribed by them out of Your greater love for Your first works above, Praised be Your name and Your omnipotence, by every creature, just as it is seemly to offer thanks to Your sweet effluence.

Your kingdom's peace come unto us, for if it does not come, then though we summon all our force, we cannot reach it of our selves. Just as Your angels, as they sing Hosanna, offer their wills to You as sacrifice, so may men offer up their wills to You. Give unto us this day the daily manna without which he who labors most to move ahead through this harsh wilderness falls back.

Even as we forgive all who have done us injury, may You, benevolent, forgive, and do not judge us by our worth. Try not our strength, so easily subdued, against the ancient foe, but set it free from him who goads it to perversity.

As they walk around the terrace, they are able to profit from the sculpted examples of humility. The first of these souls is Omberto Aldobrandeschiwhose pride lies in his descent "I was Italian, son of a great Tuscan: Oderisi of Gubbio is an example of pride in achievements — he was a noted artist of illuminated manuscripts.

The poets reach the stairway to the second terrace at noon. Second terrace Envy [ edit ] Dante's classical example of generosity is the friendship between Orestes and Pylades. According to Cicero 's De AmicitiaPylades pretended to be Orestes in order to save his friend from execution, Canto 13. Envy is the sin that "looks with grudging hatred upon other men's gifts and good fortune, taking every opportunity to run a discussion of the concept of love in the purgatorio down or deprive them of their happiness".

There is, as in all the other terraces, an episode from the life of the Virgin Mary ; this time, the scene from the Life of the Virgin is the Wedding at Canain which she expresses her joy for the newly married couple and encourages Christ to perform his first miracle.

There is also Jesus' saying "Love your enemies. Cain 's jealousy of his brother Abel is Dante's Biblical example of envy. Painting by James TissotCanto 14. The souls of the envious include Guido del Duca, who speaks bitterly about the ethics of people in towns along the River Arno: Then, as that stream descends, it comes on curs that, though their force is feeble, snap and snarl; scornful of them, it swerves its snout away.

And, downward, it flows on; and when that ditch, ill-fated and accursed, grows wider, it finds, more and more, the dogs becoming wolves. Descending then through many dark ravines, it comes on foxes so full of deceit there is no trap that they cannot defeat. The classical example is Aglauroswho, according to Ovidwas turned to stone because she was jealous of Hermes ' love for her older sister Herse.

The Biblical example is Cain[40] mentioned here not for his act of fratricide, but for the jealousy of his younger brother Abel a discussion of the concept of love in the purgatorio led to it Canto XIV. As he is leaving the terrace, the dazzling light of the terrace's angel causes Dante to reveal his scientific knowledge, observing that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection [41] "as theory and experiment will show" [42] Canto XV.

Third terrace Wrath [ edit ] The stoning of Saint Stephen provides an example of wrath, as well as of meekness, its opposite virtue. Painting by RembrandtCanto 15.

On the terrace of the wrathfulwhich the poets reach at 3 PM, [43] examples of meekness the opposite virtue are given to Dante as visions in his mind. The scene from the Life of the Virgin in this terrace of purgation is the Finding in the Temple.

Whereas most parents would be angry at their child for worrying them, Mary is loving and understanding of Christ's motives behind his three-day disappearance. In a classical example, the wife of Peisistratos wanted a young man executed for embracing their daughter, to which Peisistratos responded: Next I a discussion of the concept of love in the purgatorio people whom the fire of wrath had kindled, as they stoned a youth and kept on shouting loudly to each other: I saw him now, weighed down by death, sink to the ground, although his eyes were bent always on Heaven: Dante also sees visions with examples of wrath, such as ProcneHaman and Lavinia.

The prayer for this terrace is the Agnus Dei: While staying on the fourth terrace, Virgil is able to explain to Dante the organization of Purgatory and its relationship to perverted, deficient, or misdirected love. Deficient and misdirected loves are about to follow. Fourth terrace Sloth [ edit ] On the fourth terrace we find souls whose sin was that of deficient love — that is, sloth or acedia. Since they had failed in life to act in pursuit of love, here they are engaged in ceaseless activity.

The examples of sloth and of zeal, its opposite virtue, are called out by these souls as they run around the terrace. A scene from the life of the Virgin outlined in this terrace is the Visitationwith Mary going "in haste" to visit her cousin Elizabeth. These examples also include episodes from the lives Julius Caesar and Aeneas. This activity also replaces a verbal prayer for this terrace. Since the formerly slothful are now too busy to converse at length, this section of the poem is a short one.

Allegorically, spiritual laziness and lack of caring lead to sadness, [54] and so the beatitude for this terrace is Beati qui lugent "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted," Matthew 5: Dante's second night's sleep occurs while the poets are on this terrace, and Dante dreams shortly before Tuesday's dawn [56] of a Sirensymbol of disordered or excessive love represented by greedgluttony and lust.

The dream ends in the light of the sun, and the two poets climb toward the fifth terrace [57] Canto XIX. Fifth terrace Avarice [ edit ] The souls on the fifth terrace lie face-downward, Canto 19. On the last three terraces are those who sinned by loving good things, but loving them in an excessive or disordered way. On the fifth terrace, excessive concern for earthly goods — whether in the form of greed, ambition or extravagance — is punished and purified. The avaricious and prodigal lie face-down on the ground, unable to move.

Their prayer is Adhaesit pavimento anima mea, taken from Psalm 119: Dante meets the shade of Pope Adrian Van exemplar of desire for ecclesiastical power and prestige, who directs the poets on their way Canto XIX. The scene from the Life of the Virgin, used here to counter the sin of avarice, is the humble birth of Christ.

Further down the terrace, Hugh the Great personifies greed for worldly wealth and possessions. He bemoans the way that, in contrast, avarice has motivated the actions of his successors, and "prophesies" events which occurred after the date in which the poem is set, but before the poem was written: O Avarice, my house is now your captive: I see Him mocked a second time; I see the vinegar and gall renewed and He is slain between two thieves who're still alive.