Divine Comedy: Purgatorio Characters

Divine Comedy: Purgatorio Character List

Dante

A pilgrim in a foreign land, Dante embarks on a journey through Purgatory that humbles him and reveals the infinite grace and might of God.

Virgil

The author of the Aeneid and Dante's idol and guide through the Inferno. He is supposed to be a guide to Dante in Purgatory, but everything is equally unfamiliar to the both of them. He is idolized by Dante despite his failings that damned him to Limbo. Cannot go beyond the entrance to Eden.

Cato

A virtuous pagan on the banks of Purgatory. Historically known as Cato of Utica or Cato the younger (96-46 BC), he is a righteous pagan man who died for the liberty of Rome, introduced at the gate to Purgatory. He shows the inscrutability of the Grace of God in purgatory because he should have ended up in the second ring of the seventh circle of hell on account of his paganism and his suicide. His presence in Purgatory essentially devalues every argument made by Virgil that he resides in Limbo due to a lack of faith in a God that was never introduced to him, because Cato was his contemporary and possessed the same ignorance.

Casella

One of Dante's friends from his life. He tried to hug Dante three times and fails due to the incorporeal nature of his body on Purgatory. He sings a song for Dante on the banks of Purgatory.

Manfred

An excommunicated soul in Ante-Purgatory. He reveals the powerlessness of excommunication against the grace of God.

Belacqua

Has given up before entering Purgatory because he doesn't think it is worth it to go on.

Buonconte da Montefeltro

A late repentant soul in Ante-Purgatory. He died in battle and in his last moments said "Maria," which was him professing his faith. An angel and demon argued over the fate of his soul, and God's grace prevailed.

Marco the Lombard

In the terrace of the wrathful, Marco serves as a mouthpiece for Dante's ideas regarding the relationship between Celestial influences and human responsibility; the balance between Church and State.

Statius

He converted to Christianity because of Virgil's Aeneid, which shows how God can speak to anyone through any mouthpiece, even overtly Pagan ones. Due to the political climate, he kept his fate secret for the duration of his life, causing him to spent 500 years in the terrace of Sloth. He accompanies Virgil and Dante to the Garden of Eden but then returns to his own pilgrimage.

Matelda

The lady that Dante meets in the Garden of Eden. She explains the purposes of the rivers Lethe and Eunoe and leads Dante to drink from them.

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