"The Paradiso" Detailed Report

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* The Paradiso by Dante Alighieri opens the third and last story of Dante's Comedy. Dante is flying towards Heaven (or Paradise), with Beatrice alongside. He sees some amazing sights along the way. In fact, it's so amazing that any mortal who sees such things would immediately forget them upon landing back on earth. When there, Dante goes to Apollo, he asks for his divine task. He and Beatrice then ascend from the Earthly Paradise. Beatrice also outlines the structure of the universe. * Dante and Beatrice arrive in the First Heaven, sphere of the Moon. Beatrice vigorously quizzes Dante and then corrects his views on the cause of the moon spots. Dante first sees the blessed souls as points of light. He meets Piccarda Donati, who explains she is the sister of Forese Donati, who Dante met in Purgatory, and she lives in the slowest-revolving sphere. She tells Dante to not worry, she is happy there because she delights in taking her place in God's order. She deserves to be in the lowest level of Heaven because she broke her vows in life. She explains that the Moon houses souls who broke their vows. Beatrice explains why Dante sees the souls in these heavens, when they are all located in the Empyrean, (the Tenth Heaven). Then she explains vows in terms of absolute and will. They ascend to the Second Heaven, sphere of Mercury. Justinian explains the history and destiny of Rome. Justinian begins explaining the history of Rome. He talks about how Emperor Constantine committed the crime of moving the capital of the Roman Empire away from Rome to Byzantium. By so doing, Constantine turned the Empire against Heaven and against centuries of good leadership. After hundreds of years, the soul says, Rome came to be ruled by me, Justinian. I was known for reforming the Roman laws. He tells Dante that the souls in Mercury were all just, but motivated by fame. Beatrice

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