Purgatorio

Plan of Mount Purgatory. As with Paradise, the structure is of the form 2 + 7 + 1 = 10, with one of the ten regions different in nature from the other nine

Purgatorio (pronounced  [purɡaˈtɔːrjo]; Italian for " Purgatory") is the second part of Dante's Divine Comedy, following the Inferno, and preceding the Paradiso. The poem was written in the early 14th century. It is an allegory telling of the climb of Dante up the Mount of Purgatory, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, except for the last four cantos at which point Beatrice takes over as Dante's guide.

Purgatory in the poem is depicted as a mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, consisting of a bottom section (Ante-Purgatory), seven levels of suffering and spiritual growth (associated with the seven deadly sins), and finally the Earthly Paradise at the top. Allegorically, the Purgatorio represents the penitent Christian life. [1] In describing the climb Dante discusses the nature of sin, examples of vice and virtue, as well as moral issues in politics and in the Church. The poem outlines a theory that all sins arise from love – either perverted love directed towards others' harm, or deficient love, or the disordered or excessive love of good things.

Background

As described in the Inferno, the first twenty-four hours of Dante's journey took place on earth and started on the evening of Maundy Thursday, 24 March (or 7 April) 1300 (Inf. I and II), and the next full day ( Good Friday) was spent exploring the depths of Hell with Virgil as a guide (Inf. III-XXXIV.69). Dante and Virgil spent the next day ascending from Hell to see the stars (Inf. XXXIV.70-139). They arrive at the shore of the Mountain of Purgatory—the only land in the Southern Hemisphere—at 6 AM on the morning of Easter Sunday, [2] which is 6 PM on Sunday evening in Jerusalem, since the two points are antipodal. Dante describes Hell as existing underneath Jerusalem, having been created by the impact of Lucifer's fall; the Mountain of Purgatory was created by a displacement of rock caused by the same event. [3] The Purgatorio picks up where the Inferno left off, describing Dante's three-and-one-day trip up the mountain that ends with Dante in the Earthly Paradise at the time of noon on Wednesday, March 30 (or April 13).