Purgatorio, Canto 27




JP Heyne is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Dallas. He is an expert in Mediterranean history and the history of Jerusalem.

Questions for Reflection

  • The lustful penitent sing “blessed are the pure in heart…” How does that beatitude conclude, and why is its emphasis on sight so important for this terrace?
  • Why is there a wall of fire separating the terraces of Purgatory from the garden of Eden? Why would Dante make this callback to Genesis 3 and 4?
  • What happens in Dante’s dream? Who are Leah and Rachel and what do they symbolize? What biblical story do they feature in and what do you think this says about how we should understand Dante himself?
  • This canto gives us Virgil’s final words to Dante. He proclaims that Dante’s will “free, upright, and sound” (27.140). Now, if Dante does not follow his will’s pleasure, he will do wrong. How is that possible?
  • What does it mean for Virgil to crown and miter Dante “lord of himself” (142)? Is this a surprising final benediction from Virgil or is it fitting?


  • Dr. JP Heyne
  • University of Dallas
  • Run Time 8:26