* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Purgatorio

Purgatorio

by Dante Alighieri

Analysis: Writing Style

Formal, Elevated

Purgatorio is formal. There’s very little that’s easy and accessible about Dante’s style. By “formal,” we mean that Dante adheres to a very rigid literary form. In this case, epic conventions include tons of invocations to the muses, epithets, apostrophes, epic similes, divine creatures, and a character list longer than the Encyclopedia Britannica. All that good stuff. The “elevated” part points to the difficultly of the text. Sentences tend to be about fifty lines long and chock full of prepositional phases. This sort of language tends to describe a larger-than-life topic – like the purgation of man’s eternal soul – and to address it in a very serious, occasionally stuffy way.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement