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Little Words, Big Ideas
Time: Haste, Change
In Purgatory, everyone rushes about. Dante is warned by his teachers to hurry. The penitent souls rush towards the top of the mountain in their keenness for the gates of Heaven. This awareness and...
The concept of love Dante presents in the Purgatorio has a theological bent. Love ultimately comes from God, who is Infinite Love and instills it in each of his creatures. However, being a loving G...
Purgatory is essentially a grand school where individuals learn to improve their minds and souls. Education in this sense equates to purification. The lessons of Purgatory operate through tough lov...
Art and Culture
Dante, the author of Purgatorio, is keen to show that his writing has a legitimate social use. So his depictions of art – poetry, music, painting, and sculpture – all function as a mean...
Dante’s view of politics is essentially a negative one. The sorry state of politics is to be blamed on the passage of time, the infective nature of sin, and man’s misguided exercise of...
The punishment of souls in Purgatory is different from that of those in Hell because these individuals actually have hope of a better existence. With their sweat and blood, they strive to be worthy...
Human reason has been Dante’s primary guide through Hell (in Inferno) and Purgatory (in Purgatorio). However, reason is not sufficient to get him to Heaven; he must have trust and faith in Ch...
Fate and Free Will
In Purgatorio, the famous tension between fate and free will is explained in terms of love. According to Purgatorio, there are two kinds of love: natural and mental. Natural love is one’s inn...
As the first vice punished in Purgatory, pride is the most serious of the forgivable sins. As punishment for pride, penitents have to carry such heavy weights that their heads are bent down, render...
Language and Communication
In Purgatorio, virtuous language adheres to truth. However, Dante has also added courtesy here. When meeting a penitent for the first time, Virgil urges Dante to address him politely. There is also...
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