The last 6 cantos describes the dramatic events in the Garden of Eden, where Dante meets Beatrice and is finally cleansed after a deep confession. He is then fully restored, and ready for the stars.
This also concludes the second book, the Purgatory!
As they go through the remaining six terraces of punishments and atonement on Mount Purgatory, Dante learns the final parts of human nature and its moral structures. He is then ready to enter the Garden of Eden on the top, the Earthly Paradise - as Lord of Himself - and he can now follow his instinct for pleasure, knowing well the nature and consequences of the sins.
As Virgil and Dante walk through the main gate of the Purgatory they discover a set of beautiful carvings about the virtue of humility, they meet the regretful souls of the proud under heavy slabs of stone, and they discover a second set of carvings, this time with stories about pride.
After this, an angel comes and removes one of the seven P's from Dante's forehead:
"He led us straight to where the rock was cleft.
Once there, he brushed his wings against my brow,
then he assured me of a...
From the first slope through the two levels of Antepurgatory, Dante and Virgil reach the main gate which is guarded by an angel with a sword. The Guardian uses a golden and silver key to open the gate, symbolic of the authority to do so, and the skill and wisdom to asses the souls' sincerity of their regrets. The keys were given to him by Peter.
In canto 3, Dante first marvels at the work he sees in front of him:
"I raised my eyes to marvel at the mount
that grew out of the sea toward...
In the second Canto of the Purgatory a boat with over a hundred souls arrives at the shore, ready to climb up the mountain to purify their spirits. Dante meets an old friend, who sings with a beautiful voice and spellbounds the other souls. Then Cato the Guardian appears:
"And while we stood enraptured by the sound
of those sweet notes - a sudden cry: "What's this,
you lazy souls?" It was the Just Old Man.
"What negligence to stand around like this!
Run to the mountain, shed that slough...
The second episode on the opening of Purgatory, with the symbolic act of washing his face as a cleansing of sins - and as the theme of the second book, and Purgatory Mountain. Cato tells them two things;
"Go with this man, see that you gird his waist
with a smooth reed; take care to bathe his face
till every trace of filth has disappeared,"
v. 94-96, Canto I.
Which means to from now equip him with humility, and rinse his soul properly of the "filth" (sins) he was witnessing in the first...
Today we are looking at the opening of the Purgatory, and how Dante is using the elements of Greek Myth, Literature, Biblical stories and the history of the Roman Empire to create the first few lines of the second book. His "boat" is growing, as symbol of his poetic powers and the story we are following.
In this episode we will look at a brief overview of the nine muses, the deities of inspiration in the Greek Mythology; Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania - and their roles as openings for the Illiad, the Odyssey, the Theogony - and countless other major works from the Ancient World (and also later in the Renaissance).
"And one day they taught Hesiod glorious song while he was shepherding his lambs under holy Helicon, and...
In this episode we are reading and commenting on the story of Prometheus from the starting point of the Dispute of Mecone, to the hiding and theft of Fire from Zeus, and the punishment of Pandora and her Jar that is not to be opened.
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from the Greek Creation Myth - the birth of the Skies and the Mountains;
"And Earth first bare starry Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought forth long Hills, graceful haunts of the goddess-Nymphs who dwell amongst the glens of the hills."
In this episode we look at the concept of Hubris and Nemesis in the Greek Myth, and link the events from Europa and Zevs on Crete, to the Labyrinth of Daedalus, and the story of his son Icarus who flew too close to the sun.
In the last part of the Inferno, Dante and Virgil meet Lucifer in the center of the planet, half frozen in ice. He is gigantic in size, and his head has three faces eating the three traitors Judas, Brutus and Cassius (who plotted against The Roman Emperor Caesar.)
From the opening of the last poem, Canto 34:
A far-off windmill turning its huge sails
when a thick fog begins to settle in,
or when the light of day begins to fade,
that is what I thought I saw appearing.
And the gusts of...
After seeing the "falsifiers" in the last part of Circle 8, Dante encounters the Well of Giants, where biblical and Greek Mythological figures are bound with chains. They represent the betrayal and the combination of strength, intellect and evil will.
for when the faculty of intellect
is joined with brute force and with evil will,
no man can win against such an alliance.
Verse 55-57, Canto XXXI
The end of this canto ends with Dante and Virgil being lifted down to a lake...
In this episode we give a broader overview of the Lower Inferno from the City of Dis, down through the waterfall, and deep into the 8th circle.
The three main parts of the inferno is the incontinence (lack of self-restraint), violence (to self or others), and different forms of fraud in the deepest part journey.
From the scene of the waterfall, into the abyss:
I saw a figure coming, it was swimming
through the thick and murky air, up to the top
(a thing to startle even stalwart...
A reflection on the timeless balance and sometimes contradiction between reason and emotion, in human nature and also in contrasting strains of history.
The quote was the following:
"Emotions of any kind can be evoked by melody and rhythm; therefore by music a man becomes accustomed to feeling the right emotions; music has thus the power to form character, and the various kinds of music based on various modes may be distinguished by their effects on character.