Terrestrial Paradise

Finally, in these concluding cantos of The Purgatorio, Dante will come face-to-face with Beatrice!  He has successfully traveled through the nine levels of hell, and the mountain of purgatory.  In these cantos, we see that Dante’s guide has returned to limbo.  Beatrice has now assumed that role.

What really stands out to me in these cantos, is how Dante answers for his final sins to Beatrice, as if, it were the final judgment, before being allowed to ascend into paradise.  Once he has realized those sins, and asked forgiveness, he will be able to continue on his journey.

While that exchange was vivid, what I found even more so, was the critique on the Roman Catholic Church.  During these cantos, Dante goes on to argue that the Church isn’t the be-all-end-all of what happens, and whether people attain salvation or not.  While the Church is important, it will not have as much importance in the afterlife.  Also, another argument I thought was made that the Church will need to evolve their beliefs. which will take time.

Prior to making his way to paradise, Dante must complete two remaining tasks.  He must have his sins washed away, permanently, so that he will not remember them, and then he must have those good deeds of his retained to go along with him on his journey through paradise.  In paradise, God doesn’t want us to remember sin, only the happiness that we’ll be able to share with one another and with God.  I feel that these are two important steps that Dante takes in his journey.  These cantos were very vivid and will remain with me for quite some time.


About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

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