Purgatorio Essay

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Purgatorio picks up right where Inferno left off – Dante and Virgil have just emerged from their tour through Hell. The two travelers find themselves on the island of Mount Purgatory at the dawn of a new day. On the shores of the island, Dante and Virgil watch a boat arrive. Guided by an angel, the boat shuttles a new batch of penitent souls to Purgatory. Like these souls, Dante is about to climb Mount Purgatory, learning lessons, and cleansing himself of sin in preparation for ascending to Heaven. Before beginning to scale the mountain, Dante and Virgil must first pass through ante-Purgatory. They meet a variety of souls, most of whom are shocked to see that Dante casts a shadow, showing that he's alive. Along their travels they pass though the First Spur of the Indolent and the Second Spur of the Late-Repentants. They travel to the Valley of the Rulers and meet a bunch of deceased kings. In the valley, a serpent appears at dusk, only to be driven away by two angels. The penitent souls are unable to travel in Purgatory at night, so, although Virgil is in a hurry, he and Dante rest until morning. Dante sleeps and dreams about an eagle abducting him. When he wakes up, he finds himself at the entrance to Purgatory proper. Virgil informs him that St. Luciacame while he slept and carried him to the gate to Purgatory. They climb the three steps to the gate, and the angel guarding the entrance carves seven P’s into Dante’s forehead. Now in Purgatory proper, Dante and Virgil have seven terraces to pass through, each of which corresponds to one of the seven deadly sins. On the first terrace of the Prideful, Dante and Virgil observe in the wall of the cliff sculptures representing humility. They come across the Prideful penitents, who are being punished for their sin of pride by carrying massive weights on their backs. The penitents are permanently hunched over, and Dante

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