The Role Of Heaven In Dante Alighieri's Purgatorio

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According to the Roman Catholic doctrine, purgatory is a place or a state of mental anguish and suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are expiating their sins and so they undergo purification before going to heaven. These souls are waiting as they experience judgement if they can immediately enter the state of heaven or if they are to be destined for hell. Purgatory has been thought of as a physical location by others but some popes believe the opposite. In Greek mythology, Euripides’ Medea is centered on the wife’s revenge against her husband, Jason, who prefers to be wed to the princess of Corinth. She killed their own two children and as she confronts him, she enjoys his lamentation of not being able to see their children again. …show more content…
The characters are inserted into Dante Alighieri’s Purgatory (Purgatorio). The two characters, Man and Woman, from the play resemble Jason and Medea. A man leaves a woman for another wife and the woman punishes him by murdering their children and the man’s new bride. The woman is struggling with her strong emotions of pride and anger but she is also guilt-ridden of her act of filicide. In Euripides’ original play, it can be interpreted that the gods eventually forgive Medea for her ruthless vengeance. Dorfman’s play is more equivocal wherein it involves the Roman Catholic tradition of a place where souls must first undergo purgation before they can enter …show more content…
According to their tormenters, it is possible for them to start anew. They both want that but there is a condition; they have to make the person from the room next to them repent for their sins. As they described the kittens and the vase, they are not describing themselves. These details are reminders of time that no longer is and places that no longer are. These are their pasts they can never reclaim. Their monologues about her regretting not being bothered with kittens and him wishing to go back and apologize to his Grandmother about the broken vase are synecdoches. These are small parts of their memories of their entire childhoods before they met each other. The cat story also has something to do with her maternal instinct. At first, she took tender care of the kittens but she abandoned them when she fell in love with the Man. The vase story leads to the breaking down of his mask and his final illusion about himself to prepare him for the next stage of purgation.
This play answers some of the questions we have in mind unequivocally. How do people come back to humanity after inflicting pain on their loved ones? What can revenge do and can one recover from it? Will they actually forgive themselves? All we know is that redemption is longed for. The lighting and music design set the mood and provide an opening for Dorfman’s ideas about purgatory to present on stage. During every transition, the lights are not entirely closed

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