Ulysses failed attempt to reach Purgatory

1069 Words5 Pages
Ulysses failed attempt to reach Purgatory Ulysses is a deceitful and treacherous explorer of the Mediterranean. His journeys are characterized by harsh conditions and exciting adventures in which he overcomes all of them to return to Ithaca. In the end, he attempts to sail past Gibraltar and explore unknown seas, where the last journey of his life ends in failure. Ulysses’ next journey to Mount Purgatory ends in failure as well, and consequentially his destiny in hell is secured. Ulysses did not land into Purgatory in the Inferno because of his background, as well as his resemblance to Adam from the Garden of Eden. Ulysses’ journey to the Purgatory ended in failure partly because he was a pagan. According to Musa, “As a pagan, Ulysses, of course, could not have reached the mount of Purgatory” (201). Ulysses was an ancient Greek hero, and he therefore did not have knowledge of Christianity and instead worshipped ancient Greek gods. Ulysses could not make it into Purgatory because “From a theological point of view, Ulysses must be forbidden from reaching this mountain because it is destined to be a place of purgation for the saved souls after the coming of Christ.” In addition, “Unlike Ulysses and Guido, who were also men of great genius and excellence, Dante uses his virtue in the right way: in the service of God” (Musa 354, 201). The goal and purpose of Ulysses journey completely differs from Dante’s because Ulysses is exploring to augment his own knowledge, and he enjoys the adventures he experiences. Dante, a devote Christian, uses his journey to spread his knowledge of Hell and help steer people away from sin and towards important virtues. Ulysses is a sinful and immoral human according to Christian theology because of his actions. Known as the crafty Ulysses, he is placed in Hell by Dante because he encourages others to practice fraud and trickery like
Open Document