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Dante's Hell is one of the most remarkable visions in Western literature. An allegory for his and future ages, it is, at the same time, an account of terrifying realism. Passing under a lintel emblazoned with these frightening words, the poet is led down into the depths by Virgil and shown those doomed to suffer eternal torment for vices exhibited and sins committed on earth. The Inferno is the first part of the long journey which continues through redemption to revelation - through Purgatory and Paradise - and, in this translation, his images are as vivid as when the poem was first written in the early years of the 14th century.
Purgatory is the second part of Dante's Divine Comedy. We find the Poet, with his guide Virgil, ascending the terraces of the Mount of Purgatory inhabited by those doing penance to expiate their sins on earth. There are the proud - forced to circle their terrace for aeons bent double in humility; the slothful - running around crying out examples of zeal and sloth; while the lustful are purged by fire.
Led by his guide Beatrice, Dante leaves the Earth behind and soars through the heavenly spheres of Paradise. In this third and final part of the Divine Comedy, he encounters the just rulers and holy saints of the Church. The horrors of the Inferno and the trials of Purgatory are left far behind. Ultimately, in Paradise, Dante is granted a vision of God's heavenly court - the angels, the Blessed Virgin and God Himself.