Purgatorio, Canto 32




Kathryn Smith is an Assistant Professor in Classical Education in the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University. She studies classical education, modernist and contemporary poetry and poetics, as well as ancient and modern rhetoric.

Questions for Reflection

  • What makes Dante go temporarily blind? How is his blindness thematically significant for this moment in his journey?
  • What does Dante witness about the relationship between Adam and Christ in lines 31-51?
  • Why does Dante narrate an apocalyptic vision of church history in the back half of this canto? What happens to the Church in this vision? Is there any hope for the Church?
  • Why do you think Dante describes the Church as a “little bark” (“navicella”) (32.129)? Is he indicating the vulnerability or weakness of the Church?


  • Dr. Kathryn Smith
  • Templeton Honors College
  • Run Time 13:34