Purgatorio Canto XIX

Purgatorio 19

‘What’s wrong, that you keep staring at the ground?’
my guide began, once we were on our way,
leaving the angel just below.

vv. 52-54

Fourth Ledge: the Slothful. – Dante dreams of the Siren – The Angel of the Pass. – Ascent to the Fifth Ledge. – Pope Adrian V.

As dawn approaches, Dante dreams of a woman approaching him; she is “stammering, cross-eyed, splayfooted, / with crippled hands and sick pale complexion.” Yet when he looks at her, she begins to speak and becomes beautiful. She sings, revealing herself to be a siren. But another, “holy” woman appears next to Dante; Virgil, too, appears and seizes the siren’s clothing. This “exposed her belly” and a foul stench that wakes Dante up. Virgil prods him to continue ascending, though Dante is still burdened by the dream. As they climb to the next terrace, Virgil asks why he seems so distracted. When Dante replies, Virgil tells him that he has seen “that ancient witch / who alone is purged with tears above us here” and refuses to give more information. Dante is reinvigorated, and they reach the next terrace. On it, Dante sees people “lying face down on the ground and weeping.” After Virgil asks for guidance, he consents to have Dante further question the soul who responded. In Latin, the soul reveals that he was the successor Petri or the successor of Peter: this is Pope Adrian V. Though he died early in his reign, he is still marked by the avarice of the Papacy and the church, and so we learn that this terrace punishes the avaricious. When Dante kneels beside him in reverence, Adrian asks that he “go his way.”

Riassunto in inglese tratto da https://www.gradesaver.com/divine-comedy-purgatorio

Canto adopted by Confcommercio Ravenna.

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