Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Terraces Of Purgatory

In Dante's Divine Comedy,Vergil, the author of the Aeneid is Dante's guide through the Nine Circles Of Hell and through the Seven Terraces Of Purgatory.  The Seven Terraces relate to the Seven Deadly Sins.

From Wikipedia:

"The gate of Purgatory is guarded by an angel who uses the point of his sword to draw the letter "P" (signifying peccatum, sin) seven times on Dante's forehead, bidding him to "wash you those wounds within." The angel uses two keys, silver (remorse) and gold (reconciliation) to open the gate – both are necessary.
The angel at the gate then warns Dante not to look back, lest he should find himself outside the gate again, symbolizing Dante having to overcome and rise above the hell that he has just left and thusly leaving his sinning ways behind him.
From there, Virgil guides the pilgrim Dante through the seven terraces of Purgatory. These correspond to the seven deadly sins, each terrace purging a particular sin in an appropriate manner. Those in purgatory can leave their circle whenever they like, but essentially there is an honor system where no one leaves until they have corrected the nature within themselves that caused them to commit that sin. Souls can only move upwards and never backwards, since the intent of Purgatory is for souls to ascend towards God in Heaven, and can ascend only during daylight hours, since the light of God is the only true guidance."
In the First Terrace, Virgil and Dante encounter the proud, who carry heavy stones on their backs, unable to stand up straight.  Pride is our Doodle Sin for Saturday, September 27th.

Over the next few days, we'll be exploring the remaining Terraces Of Purgatory, and how the sinners there work to purge their sins.


Marilyn said...

Oh man... this is educating us. Did we sign up for education?

I'm not sure what's so funny about this comedy. So far this Virgil guy has a pretty sick sense of humor. Even worse than those guys on Comedy Central that use the F and N words liberally.