Dante's Inferno And The Divine Comedy

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During his time in purgatory, Dante learns many important lessons. These lessons helped him learn about grace, the root of his sins, and suffering. Although he will never be a perfect person, everything Dante learned could be used to make him grow closer to that goal. The teachings that Dante learned in purgatory were vital in showing him the way to paradise. Dante learns that you cannot find the path that leads you to God using only reason, God’s clemency is also required. For example, throughout the Divine Comedy, the character of Virgil symbolizes reason and wisdom. Dante was a well-educated man who used his wisdom and reason daily. The pilgrim looked up to Virgil and believed that his guide could lead him in his journey. This is shown…show more content…
At the core of every sin punished in Purgatory, there are the three perversions of love. Virgil explained that, “Neither Creator nor his creatures ever, my son, lacked love. There are, as you well know, two kinds: the natural love, the rational.” (17.91-93) Natural love is perfect and cannot turn towards evil. Rational love, however, is imperfect and unpredictable. It cannot stray when it is fixed on the Eternal Good, but it can stray when it turns toward evil or the wrong goal. Though rational love is indeed the seed of every virtue, it is also the origin of every vice or perversion. The three specific perversions of rational love are; misdirected love (pride, envy, wrath), a deficient love of primary good (sloth), and an excessive love of secondary goods (avarice, gluttony, lust). Through Virgil’s lesson, Dante learns the root of his sin, and can better understand why they occur. Knowing the root of one’s sin is incredibly valuable, as it can be used to prevent the continuance of the sin…show more content…
The most notable of these is when he has climbed to the seventh terrace of Mount Purgatory, the terrace of the lustful. Upon reaching this terrace, the angel of chastity appears and tells them, “Holy souls, no farther can you go without first suffering fire. So, enter now, and be not deaf to what is sung beyond.” (27.10-12) Dante is wary about walking through the fiery barricade that the lustful have to traverse through as their punishment. Virgil upbraids Dante’s cowardice and reminds him that walking through the flames is the only way to reach paradise and Beatrice, the love of his life. Listening to the voice of reason, Dante uses this reminder to continue going on his journey. This scene directly corresponds with one at the beginning of The Inferno where Dante does not believe that he can go on, but Virgil reminds him of the prospect of seeing Beatrice again. This fills Dante with hope and incentive to keep going. Through this scene in The Purgatorio we see that Dante has learned that earthly suffering has a purpose, that will lead you to paradise. If one has no suffering in life they will have no glory in
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