How can I compare Canto 5 of Inferno to Canto 5 of Purgatorio??? I have to do a close reading of these selections and can only use information from these two cantos. I am supposed to show parallels between the two Cantos. Please respond quickly i only have 1 night to write my essay.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Both Canto V of "Inferno" and Canto V of "Purgatorio" take place in the second circles. Both are concerned with matters of the flesh.

In "Inferno" the Lustful are housed as well as the rest of the carnal (sexual) sinners(lines 37-40):

I learned that those who undergo this torment
are damned because they sinned with the flesh,
subjecting reason to the rule of lust.

In "Purgatorio" Dante and Virgil are in the "second spur" (ante-Purgatory). The sinners here die by violence and now have no corporeal bodies in Purgatory. Virgil warns Dante to keep moving, as the spirits long for flesh again. One spirit stops Dante, crying out (lines 46-51):

"O soul who make your way to gladness with
the limbs you had at birth, do stay your steps
awhile"

The lesson here is that our time on earth, and our earthly bodies, are temporary gifts.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial