An hour with Dante: the Earthly Paradise

Continuing her exploration of the Divine Comedy for the fifth year, Marina Spreafico reads and recounts one of the fundamental passages of Dante’s immortal poem, a genuine “play within the play.” The Earthly Paradise is the subject of the last seven cantos of the Purgatorio: arriving at the summit of Mount Purgatory, Dante reaches the first of his two paradises. After witnessing a triumphal procession, he meets Beatrice, and with her looks on as the chariot of the Church is transformed beneath his eyes into a monster controlled by a giant and a whore. Finally, after receiving the order to write the poem, he drinks the sweet waters of the River Eunoë that make him at last “pure and prepared to climb unto the stars.”

“I tackle the Divine Comedy from the point of departure that is best suited to me, the theater,” explains the author of the project, “feeling authorized to do so by the title chosen by Dante for his work. Taken literally, the Divine Comedy reveals the action that generates it and, in my view, one of its profound meanings.”

performed and directed by Marina Spreafico