Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572)
Allegorical Portrait of Dante
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Dante looks toward Mt. Purgatory.
Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
An Old Woman Entreating Emperor Trajan
to Avenge Her Son
In Purgatory X, Dante and Virgil reach the
ring of pride. The image captures the
emperor Trajan's encounter with an old
widow. In an example of humility and pity,
he promises her justice by avenging her
Dream of the eagle,
entrance to Purgatory, the
15th c. manuscript
Sometimes one sees a corbel, holding the weight
of roof or ceiling, carved in human shape
with chest pressed tightly down against its knees,
so that this unreality gives real
anguish to one who sees it—this is how
these souls appeared, and how they made me feel.
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.]
- U.S. Book of Common Prayer, 1928
Compare to Purgatory 11.1-24
• How did Dante and Virgil get to Purgatory? Where is it in
relation to Hell?
• What is Purgatory? Who goes there? Why? What happens
• What is Ante-Purgatory?
• How are the proud punished? Is their punishment any
different from the punishments in Hell?
• Bonus: How do Cantos 1 and 9 of Purgatory echo Cantos 1
and 9 of Inferno?
• Choose one specific passage or episode for class discussion.