Dante's Purgatorio (The Divine Comedy, Volume 2, Purgatory)

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Digireads.com Publishing, Jan 1, 2005 - Fiction - 96 pages
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The "Divine Comedy" was entitled by Dante himself merely "Commedia," meaning a poetic composition in a style intermediate between the sustained nobility of tragedy, and the popular tone of elegy. The word had no dramatic implication at that time, though it did involve a happy ending. The poem is the narrative of a journey down through Hell, up the mountain of Purgatory, and through the revolving heavens into the presence of God. In this aspect it belongs to the two familiar medieval literary types of the Journey and the Vision. It is also an allegory, representing under the symbolism of the stages and experiences of the journey, the history of a human soul, painfully struggling from sin through purification to the Beatific Vision. Contained in this volume is the second part of the "Divine Comedy," the "Purgatorio" or "Purgatory," from the translation of Charles Eliot Norton.
  

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Contents

I
5
II
7
III
10
IV
12
V
14
VI
17
VII
20
VIII
23
XVIII
50
XIX
53
XX
56
XXI
59
XXII
61
XXIII
64
XXIV
66
XXV
69

IX
26
X
29
XI
32
XII
34
XIII
37
XIV
40
XV
42
XVI
45
XVII
48
XXVI
71
XXVII
74
XXVIII
76
XXIX
78
XXX
81
XXXI
83
XXXII
86
XXXIII
89
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About the author (2005)

Born Dante Alighieri in the spring of 1265 in Florence, Italy, he was known familiarly as Dante. His family was noble, but not wealthy, and Dante received the education accorded to gentlemen, studying poetry, philosophy, and theology. His first major work was Il Vita Nuova, The New Life. This brief collection of 31 poems, held together by a narrative sequence, celebrates the virtue and honor of Beatrice, Dante's ideal of beauty and purity. Beatrice was modeled after Bice di Folco Portinari, a beautiful woman Dante had met when he was nine years old and had worshipped from afar in spite of his own arranged marriage to Gemma Donati. Il Vita Nuova has a secure place in literary history: its vernacular language and mix of poetry with prose were new; and it serves as an introduction to Dante's masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, in which Beatrice figures prominently. The Divine Comedy is Dante's vision of the afterlife, broken into a trilogy of the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. Dante is given a guided tour of hell and purgatory by Virgil, the pagan Roman poet whom Dante greatly admired and imitated, and of heaven by Beatrice. The Inferno shows the souls who have been condemned to eternal torment, and included here are not only mythical and historical evil-doers, but Dante's enemies. The Purgatory reveals how souls who are not irreversibly sinful learn to be good through a spiritual purification. And The Paradise depicts further development of the just as they approach God. The Divine Comedy has been influential from Dante's day into modern times. The poem has endured not just because of its beauty and significance, but also because of its richness and piety as well as its occasionally humorous and vulgar treatment of the afterlife. In addition to his writing, Dante was active in politics. In 1302, after two years as a priore, or governor of Florence, he was exiled because of his support for the white guelfi, a moderate political party of which he was a member. After extensive travels, he stayed in Ravenna in 1319, completing The Divine Comedy there, until his death in 1321.

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