Purgatorio, Canto 19




Kathy Storm is a Professor of Psychology and Director of Teaching, Learning, and Faith Integration at Whitworth University.

Questions for Reflection 

  • What is Dante’s dream? How does the dream show the ways that Dante’s unhealed eyes make ugly things seem beautiful and desirable? How does the Siren claim a kind of divine authority over Dante and how does true beauty expose the lie of the siren?
  • Why does Dante describe God as using a “lure” in creation  (19.62)? How does this divine designation recall the previous cantos’ discussion of love? Why do you think Dante associates God’s “lure” with the stars (19.63)?
  • What is the punishment of avarice and why is this deemed the “most bitter” punishment on the mountain (19.117)? What infernal contrapasso does this imitate? Why do you think Dante is connecting these two sins?
  • How does Dante act toward Pope Adrian (127-135)? What does this tell us about Dante’s attitude toward ecclesiastical authority? Is Dante’s consistent anger against the corruptions of the Church in the Comedy a sign of his pride or his love?


  • Dr. Kathy Storm
  • Whitworth University
  • Run Time 11:08