Purgatory (also known as Purgatorio in italian), is the second Kingdom of the Afterlife and is a major realm in Dante's Inferno.
The realm of Purgatory appears briefly at the end of Dante's Inferno, when Dante finally escapes Hell. When Dante slowly makes his way out of a cave (naked and stripped of all of his equipment), he walks out to a viewing point of a large mountain with several waterfalls streaming out of it at several points. Stating, "I did not die, and I did not live," Dante smiles and rips the cross-shaped tapestry off of his chest and tosses it aside Dante then begins to walk towards the mountain. His long journey through the Inferno has finally come to an end, but his journey through Purgatory has only just begun.
Dante's Purgatory Edit
In The Divine Comedy, Lucifer's fall created Hell and also displaced land on the opposite side of the world that created Mount Purgatory. Cato is Charon's counterpart here as ferryman (this time of the repentant sinners), cast in this role by Dante despite being a pagan because of his fame as an orator and as a virtuous man.
In an Ante-Purgatory similar to Hell's Limbo and Shores of Acheron are those who were excommunicated or late repentant, including those who did not receive last rites, who wait for their chance to enter Purgatory proper. Beyond that and the Valley of Rulers stretches Purgatory proper: In a manner similar to Hell, it is divided into circles, only these circles are terraces leading upwards instead of downwards. On each terrace, the penitent atone for a different deadly sin - in order from bottom to top, Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony and Lust. As in the Inferno, symbolic retribution is enforced - for example, the proud must carry great weights upon their backs - and examples of the countering virtue to each vice (for example, Humility countering Pride) are present on each terrace.
- In, "The Inferno," When leaving Hell, Dante hangs onto Virgil's back and they proceed to slowly make their way down Lucifer's body (which is said to span the entire diameter of Earth) and arrive in the Southern Hemisphere. Once there, Dante and Virgil both finally reach the surface and proceed to observe the stars in Heaven.