Dante Alighieri is one of the greatest poets of Medieval Italy. All his works are marked with the unique style and progressive ideas of his time. Dante is famous for writing his The Divine Comedy in which he described his journey through Hell and Purgatory to Paradiso. This poem is recognized as the most precise description of the netherworld. A high number of academic works have been written in verse. However, it is still not analyzed thoroughly, and some issues are still undiscovered.
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Scientists and philosophers focused their attention on the chapter Hell (Inferno) while Purgatory (Purgatorio) and Paradise (Paradiso) are worth great attention as well. In this paper, the analysis of Purgatorio and Paradiso shall be provided. The meaning of those poem’s two chapters is significant for understanding the author’s intention and the aim of his writing. The section “Inferno” is focused on the depiction of human sins and weaknesses. The objective of Purgatory and Paradise cantos is to show people the way to salvation.
Purgatorio is a “bridge” that separates Hell and Heaven. It is an inseparable part of Dante’s journey. Moreover, it is essential in terms of the redemption and preparation of the protagonist to enter Heaven. For many centuries, theologies denied the existence of Purgatory.
Moreover, in some religions, Orthodox, for example, it is still not recognized. But again, as is evident from The Divine Comedy analysis, Dante emphasizes the importance of Purgatory that aims at the cleansing of sin. It is a place for people who did not commit one of the seven deadly sins but were not with God in the moment of their death.
The souls of these people are preserved in Purgatory to be forgiven and enter Heaven. The meaning of Purgatory is symbolic. Introducing it into the text, the author depicts the Christian life on the earth. In addition, from the analysis of Purgatorio it is clear that he leaves people a hope that salvation will happen through prayers and believing in God’s mercy. The ending of Purgatorio shows Dante receiving his reward, the permission to ascend to Heaven.
Heaven (Paradiso) is the final destination of every “pure” soul, “the journey of a lost traveler back to his ultimate homeland, Heaven.” (Clinton 1207). Heaven is the symbol of clearness and sanctity. Dante assumes that Heaven is the condition of soul to which everyone should aspire. The theological principles of four cardinal virtues are taken as the basis for Paradiso.
Here Dante meets his beloved Beatrice, the character who is a symbol of purity and love, and several major saints of the Church. Beatrice takes over as Dante’s guide. At the end of his journey, Dante sees the Triune God, and he understands the essence of God’s love and mercy. Dante shows that one should pass through sufferings to be worthy of God’s blessing. In addition, Dante finally understands the essence of existence. Therefore, only love, prudence, fairness, and kindness can save one’s soul.
Thus, The Divine Comedy is “one of the indisputably great works of world literature” (Clinton 1205). It is the most detailed presentation of the idea of the afterlife. Having analyzed the two last chapters of the Divine Comedy, we come to an understanding of the meaning of Purgatorio and Paradiso. These chapters have great significance for the understanding of the author’s intention to show the way to salvation.
In these chapters, he gives people an explanation of how to “live with God.” As has already been mentioned, in these chapters, through the allegories, the author provides readers with a guide to God’s love and blessing. He gives humanity a chance to save their souls and improve their life on the earth by obeying the Testaments of the Bible and leading a pious life.
Clinton, Jerome W., F. Abiola Irele, Heather James. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. W.W. Norton & Co., 2009