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Purgatory | Characters

Character Description
Dante Dante is both the author and the protagonist of the Divine Comedy. His divinely inspired journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven constitutes the central plot of the poem. Read More
Virgil Virgil is a Roman poet whose works, including the epic Aeneid, are often associated with the Golden Age of Latin literature. In Purgatory he serves as a spiritual guide, leading Dante up the steep mountain where venial, less severe sins are punished and purged. Read More
Beatrice Beatrice is Dante's lost love and the saintly figure who inspires his journey through the afterlife. She arranges for Virgil to lead Dante through Hell and most of Purgatory, after which she takes over as his personal guide to Heaven. Read More
Cato Cato is a Roman senator who, in death, welcomes newly departed souls to Purgatory. Dante follows contemporary and traditional descriptions of Cato by portraying him as a "stern old man." Read More
Statius Statius is a Roman poet who, in real life, lived about a century after Virgil. In Purgatory he appears as an example of a soul who is actively purging himself of sin in order to reach Heaven. Read More
Pope Adrian V Pope Adrian V appears on the fifth terrace, where the avaricious are punished.
Omberto Aldobrandeschi Omberto Aldobrandeschi, a Guelph nobleman, appears on the first terrace because of his pride.
Belacqua Belacqua is an old friend of Dante's about whom little else is known. Having waited until death to repent, he is barred from entering Purgatory for an additional lifetime.
Rinieri da Calboli Rinieri, a prominent Guelph, purges his sin of envy on the second terrace.
Hugh Capet Hugh Capet is a 10th-century French king who is punished on the fifth terrace for his greed.
Casella Casella is a musician friend of Dante's who has just arrived on the shore of Purgatory.
Jacopo del Cassero Jacopo del Cassero, a Florentine Guelph, waits in Ante-Purgatory for the chance to begin his penance.
Arnaut Daniel Arnaut Daniel is a 12th-century troubadour who, like Dante, loved obscure and riddling poetry. He is punished for the sin of lust on the seventh terrace.
Forese Donati Forese Donati is a friend and distant cousin of Dante's. He purges his sin of gluttony on the sixth terrace.
Guido del Duca Guido del Duca, a Ghibelline judge, purges the sin of envy on the second terrace.
Oderisi da Gubbio Oderisi, a poet, occupies the first terrace. He speaks of the vain pride of artists and their hunger for fame.
Guido Guinizelli Guido Guinizelli is a 13th-century Italian poet who pioneered the lyric style in which Dante wrote. Dante encounters him among the lustful on the seventh terrace.
Marco Lombardo The enigmatic Marco Lombardo is encountered on terrace three, where he purges the sin of wrath. He gives a long speech about the sinful nature of the world.
Conrad Malaspina Conrad Malaspina is a 13th-century Northern Italian nobleman who appears in the vale of princes.
Manfred King Manfred of Sicily is among the souls who were excommunicated and must thus wait for admission into Purgatory.
Pope Martin IV Pope Martin IV is a minor figure in Purgatory, where he appears as one of the gluttonous souls on terrace six.
Matelda The lady Matelda is one of the occupants of the Earthly Paradise. She explains the place's unique properties to Dante.
Buonconte da Montefeltro Buonconte da Montefeltro, a Ghibelline, is among the souls waiting in Ante-Purgatory.
Buonagiunta Orbicciani degli Overardi In life Buonagiunta was a judge by profession and a poet by avocation. Dante meets him on terrace six, and the two discuss their poetic styles.
Penitent souls The penitent souls sing together Dante's paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer in Canto 11. They then differentiate themselves.
Provenzan Salvani Provenzan Salvani, a Sienese politician, purges his pride on the first terrace.
Sapia Sapia, a Sienese lady, purges the sin of envy on terrace two.
Sordello Sordello is a 13th-century poet from Mantua, Virgil's hometown. He is awed to meet the famous Roman in Purgatory.
Pia dei Tolomei Pia dei Tolomei, primarily called "La Pia," is an Italian noblewoman murdered by her husband. She appears among the souls in Ante-Purgatory.
Nino Visconti Nino Visconti, a prominent judge, waits in the vale of princes for his turn to enter Purgatory.
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