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Purgatory (La Divina Commedia #2)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,185 Ratings  ·  430 Reviews
A new translation by Anthony Esolen
Illustrations by Gustave Doré

Written in the fourteenth century by Italian poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy is arguably the greatest epic poem of all time—presenting Dante’s brilliant vision of the three realms of Christian afterlife: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. In this second and perhaps most imaginative par
Paperback, 544 pages
Published March 9th 2004 by Modern Library (first published 1308)
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In The Inferno, Dante used his many skills of philosophical and theological argument, poetry, knowledge of the classics and the Christian Church to both show his readers the punishments that await them if they do not change their ways, but, also, to carry forth his own political and personal polemics.

Here, in Purgatorio, he shows himself to be of even greater genius. I was expecting to encounter those who, despite their good intentions, have found themselves suffering great penance for their si
For the Celebrity Death Match Review Tournament, Les Trois Mousquetaires (31) versus The Divine Comedy (26)

- Welcome to Purgatory. Name, please?

- Ah, D'Artagnan. I think there might have been some kind of...

- We'll deal with that in a moment. Could we just start by taking care of the Deadly Sins paperwork?

- Um...

- Thank you. Number one, Pride. Any offences?

- Look, obviously I'm pretty damn cool, but, you know...

- Pride, tick. Please pick up a stone on your way out, I think you'll want an L. Num
May 24, 2014 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

For better waters now the little bark
of my indwelling powers raises her sails,
and leaves behind that sea so cruel and dark.

Now shall I sing that second kingdom given
the soul of man wherein to purge its guilt
and so grow worthy to ascend to Heaven.

If the arhitecture of Inferno was a giant funnel with ever receding terraces hosting the souls of the eternally damned in a carefully orchestrated arrangement of crime and its alloted punishment, Purgatory turns out to be its mirror image above ground:
Sura  ✿
Jan 09, 2016 Sura ✿ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-شعر
المطهر هي المنطقة الوسطى بين الجحيم والنعيم حسب رؤية دانتي
وفيها تشرق الشمس وتغيب , اي انه يوجد نهار وليل , يستأنف دانتي رحلته التماسا لضوء النهار ويتوقف ليلا, يتعب وينام وهكذا .
وهي مخصصة للكسالى , الاشخاص الذين لم تتح لهم فرصة التوبة الا في اللحظات الاخيرة , المتغطرسين , الامراء المقصرين في واجباتهم , البخلاء والمبذرين , النهمين , المنقادين خلف شهوات الجسد ,
وهي تقع في ثلاث وثلاثين انشودة

شعرت ببعض الملل , فهي ليست بجودة الجحيم ولكنها غنية بقصص الاساطير وماكان سائدا من افكار علمية وفلسلفيه انذاك
در مزرع وجود شما، عشق بذر هر خوبی است، و نیز بذر هر بدی.

دانته، در ادامه ی سفر خویش از دوزخ به بهشت، به برزخ می رسد. جایی که بنا بر الهیات مسیحی، بر خلاف دوزخ که عذاب ابدی است، گناهکاران پس از گذراندن دوره ی عذاب، پاک می شوند و به بهشت راه می یابند.
در یکی از طبقات برزخ (طبقه ی نفس پرستی) دانته نیز باید عذاب شود تا تطهیر گردد و بتواند به بهشت برسد. پس وارد گدازه هایی می شود که کوره ی شیشه پزان در مقابلش خنک می نماید.
آن گاه به بهشت زمینی می رسد و برای نخستین بار معشوقش "بئاتریس" را می بیند و
David Lafferty
Feb 08, 2013 David Lafferty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"…like people going to visit a great city like Paris and only spending a few days in the sewers…" ...Dorothy Sayers on only reading Inferno and stopping there

Purgatorio is my favorite book of the Divine Comedy. While Inferno is the most popular and arguably the most accessible to the new reader of Dante, it ultimately is a book of despair and hopelessness. I spent a couple of years immersed in Inferno while writing a book on the poem and discovered it was beginning to have a subtle depressing e
Julie Davis
Jul 12, 2016 Julie Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dante
Julie is stuck with the Wrathful. Can't see a thing. Which is unfortunate because Scott is no help at all, as he is prostrate with the Ava- the Avarish- er, the greedy. Virgil is still around here somewhere. A Good Story is Hard to Find, Episode 137: Purgatorio by Dante.

Original comments below.


Imagine my horror when, upon finishing Esolen's translation of Inferno, I discovered the library didn't have Purgatory. Inferno - yes. Paradise - yes. That middle part? Their theory seems to be
Justin Evans
Jun 14, 2011 Justin Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-and-drama
There are two kinds of people who read Dante. The first kind gets all excited about people stuck head down in piles of shit, and wishes that the adulterers and libertines could just keep on doing what they did in the real world, because it's so romantic. The second kind gets all excited about griffins pulling chariots, the relationship between the political and the religious, and the neoplatonic ascent from beautiful woman to Beauty and God. I am the second kind; I can see the pull of the first ...more
Jul 30, 2013 Alyssa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite canticle of the Divina Commedia. Sure, it's not as thrilling or fascinatingly grotesque (/grotesquely fascinating) as the Inferno, but the literary images are breathtakingly beautiful, not to mention extremely powerful. As a modern reader, it's hard not to be moved by Dante's poetry, even 7 centuries later, a fact that attests to the immortality of the work. Those who are unfamiliar with Dante and/or Italian Literature and stop reading the Commedia after the Inferno are missi ...more
Michael Sorensen
May 06, 2008 Michael Sorensen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History buffs and people who enjoy dark-age poetry
Having been raised Protestant, my religious sect was quite scornful of 'Purgatory' as a concept. Protestants believe in instantaneous 'forgiveness' upon request (which of course makes sinning a 'no penalty' action) and as it turns out, so do Catholics--except that Priests tend to exercise some control over that process--assigning 'penance' as warranted. Protestants find this idea repellant, but oddly, spend a lot of time living with secret guilt. A Catholic person, who has done their penance, wa ...more
Lolita Bni Hasan
Mar 18, 2016 Lolita Bni Hasan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
رائعة جداً رغم اعجابي بجزء الجحيم اكثر
Mar 02, 2009 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm apparently reading the Divine Comedy backwards this time, since I finished the Paradiso on Dec 31, and then read this one for our church faith exploration book club. This is probably the edition I would recommend to anybody trying the Comedy--the notes are thorough (maybe too thorough) and usually to the point. Hollander does not suffer fools gladly, though, and his dismissal of other scholars can be a bit abrupt. The translation is sometimes quite wonderful, and as far as I can tell, accura ...more
Kristine Morris
If Dante knew how hard it would be for modern readers to interpret his Commedia, he would have invoked a beautitude of Jesus sung by the angels just for us...."blessed are those who persevere reading Purgatorio...."

Purgatorio is way more complex and interesting than the Inferno - but it requires a lot more effort to read it. I am glad to be done. I will admit that I had help from The Teaching Company DVDs on Dante's Commedia. I almost feel like I should start it all over again without allowing
Vane J.
Jul 03, 2015 Vane J. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, poetry, 2015
My journey continues with Purgatorio. Now that I've finally gotten out of Hell, I come to the place where all the sinners who repented before they died are.

Before knowing where I am, I feel uneasiness. "I'm lost", I thought. Gratefully, my sorrow does not last longer, for I found my Guide. We are in Purgatorio. As its name says, and as I said before, this is the place for paying off mischiefs done. I somehow fear it, because, you know, I am no saint!

Okay, enough poetry. Now I'll tell you how Pur
Zach Pickens
Apr 08, 2012 Zach Pickens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After trekking through the depths of hell, Dante, led by his guide and literary father Virgil, ascends the seven storied mountain of purgatory. Like hell, the souls’ torments fit the sins that engaged them in life, but unlike hell, the shades are not so much punished as they are purging themselves of the capital sins. Virgil and Dante reach the pinnacle of the mountain, the Garden of Eden, where Virgil departs leaving Dante with his next guide, Dante’s great love, Beatrice.
A few thoughts:
Ahmad Sharabiani
عقاب سمبل برزخ، مظهر صعود به طرف آسمان و خورشید
سرود اول برزخ
اکنون زورق اندیشه ی من، که دریایی چنین آشفته را در پشت سر نهاده، بادبان برداشته است، تا در روی امواجی نکوتر به راه خود رود. و اینک من، در باره ی این قلمرو دومین، نغمه ساز خواهم کرد. که در آن روح آدمی تصفیه میشود، و شایستگی صعود به آسمان را پیدا میکند. ای پریان مقدس سرود، مرده را بگوئید تا زندگی از سر گیرد. زیرا اینک من در اختیار شمایم، و «کالیوپه» را بگویید که دمی روی در اینجا بنماید. تا نغمه ی مرا با نوای خوش خویش که «پیکا»های نگون بخت
Oct 07, 2008 Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sinful sinning sinnners and poetry lovers
This is probably better written than the more popular Inferno, and, though less intriguing/exciting than the obviously dark Inferno, Purgatorio exhibits wonderful writings addressing love, sin, and philosophies of existence. Also included are the seven corresponding levels on purgatory mountain to those levels in hell and the sins to be purged also reflect those exemplars in hell. The difference being that in purgatory, one has a chance at salvation and entrance to paradise (in hell, one has cho ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An enthralling allegory of sin, redemption, and the ultimate enlightenment. The sweet, tragic story is of a language long dead and gone, but true poetry that tears the heart and singes the soul. Shakespeare is the language of love, while Dante is the extreme in dealing with death.
Aug 26, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The moment Beatrice's smile was unveiled I realized where Lewis got his "surprised by joy." Such a beautifully written poem.
Laurel Hicks
Beautiful and ingenious. There is much more light and lightness here than in Inferno. And music!
Sidharth Vardhan

“Ah me! how different are these entrances
From the Infernal! for with anthems here
One enters, and below with wild laments”

Purgatorio isn’t half as interesting as Inferno. It is a bit like shower children have to take after being beaten for having spoiled their clothes in mud and before they can have their food. And so it neither is punishment (Inferno) which is at least reminiscent of joy contained in playing with mud (sin), nor offers the benefits of paradise (delicious food).

To be honest,
Jul 29, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In "Inferno", Dante began a spiritual odyssey, accompanied by the ancient Roman poet Virgil, which led them through the horrors of Hell and ended with a cliffhanger of sorts; Dante and Virgil climbing down through the frozen lake of Cocytus to reach the center of the earth. From there, they must turn around and begin climbing up a passage that leads back to the surface. Having surveyed the landscape of Hell and witnessed firsthand the results of unrepentant sin, and having learned much about the ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 29, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Good Reading
This is the second part of Dante's Divine Comedy. The first took us through Hell, and this part takes us through Purgatory--the realm where Catholics believe those souls not saints spend time purging their sins before entering Heaven. And that's the key difference: Hope. Dante famously has the gateway into Hell read "Abandon All Hope." The punishments in Hell are purposeless and its denizens are without hope they'll ever see an end. So Purgatory is less dark, less grotesque, and alas, less memor ...more
Stare qui a provare a cucire addosso le stelline al Sommo Poeta, mi sembra quasi un'eresia e non vorrei ritrovarmi per questo in uno dei suoi gironi.

Mi sembra poi impossibile dire qualcosa che non sia già stato detto chissà quante volte, in tutte le forme e soprattutto da persone molto più competenti di me.

Dante Alighieri, uomo di immensa cultura, di elevatissima intelligenza e cuore appassionato., credo sia l'unico autore oltre a William Shakespeare a non aver bisogno di alcun commento. E' un
Tobin Elliott
Didn't enjoy this was nearly as much as the first. Not quite sure why, but it felt very much as though it was simply a party that Dante and Virgil (and later, Beatrice) went to, and just met a lot of people.

Which is weird because, when I think of it, the first one was much like that as well. Maybe it was more the ascension aspect of this one, rather than the descending glimpse into hell for the last one.
Neelam Babul
Feb 18, 2016 Neelam Babul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the second part in The Divine Comedy series. This part was much easier to understand and follow than the first part, Inferno. The poem follows Dante's journey to purgatory and entrance into heaven.

The highlight of the poem is that Dante finally meets Beatrice. The prose is so dramatic that it paints a very vivid image in your mind allowing you to picture and witness Dante as he passes each gate with his guide vigil. Each gate he passes has a story within it providing a synopsis of
Joseph R.
Dante the Pilgrim continues his journey through the afterlife. Having slogged his way through Hell and come out on the other side of the earth, he and his guide Virgil (author of the Aeneid) begin their ascent of Mount Purgatory. Instead of the circles in Hell, Purgatory has various terraces where sins and the punishment due to sin are expiated. All souls have to ascend through every terrace, but some terraces are passed more quickly--if envy or sloth weren't a particular problem, an individual ...more
Ashley Adams
I thoroughly enjoyed Dante's journey into the land of redemption. The imagery is beautiful and story line engaging. The Hollander and Hollander translation provides helpful summaries to the content of each canto. Also, the Hollanders' notes synthesize hundreds of years of Dantean criticism- fabulous scholarship! The only thing missing would be lost in translation anyway, so the Hollanders supply Italian and English translation side by side. This edition may seem an insurmountable tome, but it is ...more
Lyanna Choi
Jul 11, 2016 Lyanna Choi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

After spending around three weeks in Hell, it's no surprise that I was as relieved as Dante to emerge into Purgatory in the southern hemisphere with Virgil in tow.

Despite my whining and complaining about Dante's whining and complaining, these traits actually started to become endearing after a time and I actually kind of missed his whining and crying in Purgatory. My little boy's grown since his little trip through Hell, meaning that his tour guide has done a thorough job at scaring the wuss ou
John Pistelli
Oct 05, 2014 John Pistelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, medieval
I'm specifically talking about the Dorothy L. Sayers translation here. In her preface, Sayers notes that this is the most loved of the Divine Comedy's canticles. It is the most human, many commentators say, since it alone takes place within the realm of the temporal, on earth. Its spirits, suffering but hopeful, penitent but genial, seem so much more "realistic" than the frenziedly static images of sin in Hell, even though these shades undergo purging tortures not a little infernal, from the lit ...more
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All About Books: Purgatorio (The Divine Comedy #2) by Dante Alighieri 6 22 May 04, 2015 07:30AM  
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Dante Alighieri, or simply Dante (May 14/June 13 1265 – September 13/14, 1321), is one of the greatest poets in the Italian language; with the comic story-teller Boccaccio and the poet Petrarch, he forms the classic trio of Italian authors. Dante Alighieri was born in the city-state Florence in 1265. He first saw the woman, or rather the child, who was to become the poetic love of his life when he ...more
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Other Books in the Series

La Divina Commedia (3 books)
  • Inferno (The Divine Comedy #1)
  • Paradiso (The Divine Comedy, #3)

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“Thus you may understand that love alone
is the true seed of every merit in you,
and of all acts for which you must atone.”
“Now you know how much my love for you
burns deep in me
when I forget about our emptiness,
and deal with shadows as with solid things.”
More quotes…