Purgatorio Canto IX

Purgatorio 9

In his hand he held a naked sword,
which so reflected his bright rays
I often had to turn my eager eyes away.

vv. 82-84

Slumber and Dream of Dante.—The Eagle.—Lucia.—The Gate of Purgatory.—The Angelic Gatekeeper.—Seven P’s inscribed on Dante’s Forehead.—Entrance to the First Ledge.

As the ninth canto begins, the “concubine of old Tithonus / fresh from her doting lover’s arms, was glowing white at the window of the east.” This Aurora, rather than dawn, seems to be a sign of the coming moon. Like Adam, Dante is overcome with sleep. Near “the verge of morning,” Dante has a dream that an eagle comes to him and, as Jove did to Ganymede, sweeps down and picks him up. It carries him up near the sun, and as it becomes unbearably hot, Dante wakes up to the morning sun on his eyelids. Virgil is there; they are at the gate of Purgatory, he explains, and St. Lucy was the eagle who just carried him there, sleeping. Again Dante addresses his readers, explaining that he is “raising / the level of [his] subject here.” They see what looks like a gap in a wall, but Dante quickly realizes it is a gate. There are three steps leading to it and an angel hovering about the third. The angels ask why they are there, and Virgil explains that Beatrice has asked them. Accepting the answer, the angel tells them to ascend. The first step is “of clear white marble, so polished” that Dante can see himself in it. The next is a deep and cracked-looking purple. The third is blood red. At the top, Dante supplicates himself, beating his breast and begging for mercy. The angel traces “seven P’s” on his forehead, begins to open the door with a pair of gold and silver keys, and says, “Enter, but I warn you / he who looks back must then return outside.” The sacred doors open, the hinges creak like the treasury doors of ancient Rome; from inside, Dante hears singing like that in which “the words / are sometimes clear and sometimes lost.”

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

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