Purgatorio, Canto 30




Gregory Wolfe is the Editor of Slant Books and a Visiting Fellow at the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University.

Questions for Reflection

  • When Beatrice appears, all chant Benedictus qui venis (“Blessed is he who comes…”) But the Latin takes the masculine rather than feminine ending. Why do you think Dante does this? What is he trying to say about Beatrice’s true identity?
  • Dante is so overwhelmed with the power and authority of Beatrice that he turns to the left to turn to Virgil. What does he try to say to Virgil and what is Dante quoting in this statement (30.46-48)? What is the significance of this quotation?
  • Why might Virgil disappear unexpectedly? Where do you think Virgil went and why?
  • Does the first meeting with Beatrice go the way you’ve expected? Why or not why?
  • Note that line 55 is the only time that Dante names himself in the entire poem. Why do so at this moment?
  • What was Dante’s great sin (30.121-145)? Is this surprising to you?


  • Dr. Gregory Wolfe
  • Templeton Honors College
  • Run Time 11:17