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by Dante Alighieri
Virgil Timeline and Summary
Dante and Virgil arrive on Mount Purgatory. Dante freaks out about his shadow. Virgil reassures him. Sordello, a Mantuan, is excited to meet Virgil. This triggers Dante’s rant against Florence. When Dante wakes up by the gate of Purgatory, Virgil tells him St. Lucia carried him there in his sleep. Dante and Virgil climb the three steps to the entrance of Purgatory. They enter Purgatory proper. On the way from the third to the fourth terrace, Virgil explains to Dante the importance of love in structuring Purgatory. Later, Virgil discourses on love and free will, but admits he can only explain as much as reason will allow. Dante must turn to Beatrice for faith. On the fifth terrace of the Avaricious and Prodigal, Dante and Virgil meet Statius. Statius adores Virgil and Virgil allows Dante to tell Statius who he is. On the sixth terrace of the Gluttonous, Statius explains how his conversion to Christianity was inspired by Virgil’s Aeneid. On the seventh terrace of the Lustful, Dante asks how souls can become emaciated if they don’t require food. Virgil cedes the floor to Statius. Dante is afraid of entering the wall of flame in the seventh terrace but Virgil tempts him with the promise that he’ll see Beatrice on the other side. Dante walks through the flames. At the entrance of the Earthly Paradise, Virgil announces that Dante is ready for ascent to Heaven. Virgil is as amazed as Dante at the sight of the extraordinary procession. Virgil disappears, leaving Dante distraught.