Lecture 10 - Purgatory I and II

Dante in Translation

Yale

This lecture covers Purgatory V, VI, IX and X. The purgatorial theme of freedom introduced in the previous lecture is revisited in the context of Canto V, where Buonconte da Montefeltro's appearance among the last minute penitents is read as a critique of the genealogical bonds of natural necessity. The poet passes from natural to civic ancestry in Purgatory VI, where the mutual affection of Virgil and Sordello, a former citizen of the classical poet's native Mantua, sparks an invective against the mutual enmity that enslaves contemporary Italy. The transition from ante-Purgatory to Purgatory proper in Canto IX leads to an elaboration on the moral and poetic structure of Purgatory, exemplified on the terrace of pride in Canto X.

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