Lecture 11 - Purgatory V, VI, IX, X

Dante in Translation


In this lecture, Professor Mazzotta moves from the terrace of pride (Purgatory X-XII) to the terrace of wrath (Purgatory XVI-XVII). The relationship between art and pride, introduced in the previous lecture in the context of Canto X, is pursued along theological lines in the cantos immediately following. The "ludic theology" Dante embraces in these cantos resurfaces on the terrace of wrath, where Marco Lombardo's speech on the traditional problem of divine foreknowledge and human freedom highlights the playfulness of God's creation. The motifs of human and divine creation explored thus far are shown to converge at the numerical center of the poem (Purgatory XVII) in Dante's apostrophe to the imagination.