Purgatorio, Canto 26




Phil Donnelly is an Associate Professor of Literature in the Great Texts Department at Baylor University. He is an expert in Renaissance literature and the reception of Classical educational traditions, and he is the author of Milton’s Scriptural Reasoning: Narrative and Protestant Toleration.

Questions for Reflection

  • What is the purgative practice of the lustful? How is it different from the way the lustful are punished in Inferno? Why would Dante make such a significant shift in his depictions of lust between Inferno and Purgatorio? What might Dante be suggesting about sex and sexuality in relationship to confession and repentance?
  • “I climb from here no longer to be blind” (26.58). What does this tell us about how Dante the pilgrim understands his own journey in Purgatory?
  • Are there any important callbacks to Dante’s conversation with Ulysses (from Inferno 26) in this canto? What relationship might Dante see between ambition, knowledge, and lust?
  • How does Dante’s conversation with Guido Guinizzelli show how Dante portrays the relationship between poetry and prayer?


  • Dr. Phil Donnelly
  • Baylor University
  • Run Time 14:25