Welcome back to the What Are You Reading? Series! If you have no idea what’s going on feel free to take a look at the introductory post. Don’t forget at the end of the post to let me know your own thoughts and interpretations of the book. [Please note that if you haven’t commented before I recommend reading the Commenting Guidelines.]
And today’s book is……. *Drum roll*
Author: Dante Aligheri
Genre: Religious Satire Poetry
Originally Published: 1312
Like Inferno, we continue to follow Dante and Virgil out of Hell and have now come upon the mountain of Purgatory. Here Dante gains a new mentor as Virgil cannot enter Heaven. For this the inhabitants of Purgatory are trying to repent for their sins in order to earn their way into heaven.
My First Thoughts
Dante’s Purgatory is the true grey area in this trilogy. Unlike Inferno, while reading you don’t really see the separate divisions. That may be just how I interpreted it though. This is actually my first read through of Purgatorio. But back on the grey area topic, you see similar sins as you did in Inferno but maybe to a lesser extreme in punishment. The Seven Deadly Sins are shown here (ie. avarice, sloth, gluttony, pride) but instead of their punishments being something like the boiling in blood (Inferno) they are performing actions that are the opposite of the sins they have committed. For example, the souls who had been slothful in life are speeding around and never stopping. Still being punished, but with hope of going to the next level.
With Dante’s relationship with Virgil, it seems to be a much closer relationship now. He relies on Virgil more, and Virgil interacts with him much more than just being his guide. It is almost saddening when Dante drinks from the river and forgets everything before he saw Beatrice again. That it may include his time spent with someone in history that he admired. I mean yes I am happy that Dante has finally reunited with Beatrice, but you can feel his pain when he lost his companion.
Will I Read it Again?
Yes. With Dante’s style of writing, reading it again is a must. With each reading, it becomes clearer and you appreciate it more. I mean, after my third reading of Inferno I finally started to understand what was going on and can find the satire within it. So later in life I will revisit again, and again. Then one day, I’m going to be able to talk my kids through it. 😉
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