Major Themes: Suffering

Like the sinners of Hell, the souls of Purgatory undergo physical suffering. A system is in place which seems to recall the contrapasso of Hell - the principle according to which the punishment relates to the sin being punished.

As we saw, punishment had been a fundamental part of the descriptions of Purgatory which were familiar to Dante and his readers. But the purpose of Purgatory, in the view presented by Dante, is fundamentally different. In Dante’s version of Purgatory, the emphasis is on purging vice and developing virtue within the individual, rather than exacting punishment.

© Vittorio Montemaggi, Matthew Treherne, Abi Rowson

This resource is a collaboration between the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies at the University of Leeds, and the Devers Program in Dante Studies at the University of Notre Dame