The Comparison of Dante's Inferno and the Purgatorio

906 Words4 Pages
The Comparison of Dante's Inferno and the Purgatorio There are many differences in the Inferno and the Purgatorio of Dante Alghieri, from the differences in atmosphere and attitude, darkness and light, between sins and their punishments as well as the characters of the Comedy. My purpose is to shed light on what I found to be interesting differences of the two. I would like to begin with the comparison of the coming of the old men in both the Inferno and the Purgatorio. In the Inferno it starts by saying: And Lo! Coming toward us in a boat, an old man, white with ancient hair, crying, woe to you wicked souls! Hope not ever to see Heaven! I come to carry you to the other bank, into eternal darkness, to heat and frost. Further, in the Purgatorio it starts out as: I saw to me an old man alone, worthy in look of so much reverence that no son owes more unto his father. He wore a long beard and mingled with white hair, like his locks, of which a double list fell upon his breast. In this depiction of the old men we can see the paths they have chosen, and for their choices they have been assigned their duties. The other similarity of these men is that we can find them placed in the story before Dante reaches Limbo, the first circle of Hell, and before he is able to enter into the Ante-Purgatory, or Limba in Purgatory. With the idea of the coming of the boats fresh in our minds, we can also see a distinct difference in the atmosphere in both areas. First in the Inferno we get the description of the atmosphere in these lines: But those souls, who were weary and naked, changed color, and gnashed their teeth. They blasphemed God and their parents, the human race, the place, the time and the seed of their sowing and of t... ... middle of paper ... ...the way down to the traitors were Satan himself dwells. It continually gets more serious. In Purgatory, the climb is aggressive and difficult in the beginning, working your way up the mountain you find the journey gradually getting easier. This depiction of what the whole scheme of things was a completely forging idea, but makes sense. After leaving Satan and Hell we find that some of the sins that are punished in hell are also punished in the first stages of Purgatory. The difference in why some individuals made it and others didn’t is all in the repentance and recognition of God in their lives. This is the basic message I got from these books, when in fact we all stray from the narrow path, we must never hesitate to seek forgiveness and to inline our lives with the ways of God, for we know not the day nor the hour when our souls will be called to the next life.
Open Document