Dante’s Paradiso

Dante’s Purgatorio and Inferno have a structured approach based on the three spheres of sin, while Paradiso bases its structure on the four cardinal virtues and three theological virtues. The Moon is marked with three distinct markings: the Empyrean, the Crystalline, and the Sixth Sphere. The Moon’s markings are explained to Dante by Beatrice, the narrator.


In the poem, the Empyrean is the highest sphere of Heaven. Dante’s journey through the afterlife culminates in the Empyrean. A bright light fills the Empyrean, where Dante experiences firsthand the glory of God. During this journey, Dante experiences sudden lightning, the realization of God’s majesty, and love. Despite his own failure in the previous spheres, his love and devotion eventually bring him to this place.

The Empyrean, also called the Timeless Halls, is the highest transcended realm in Heaven. It is where God resides, and is guarded by powerful angels. The Empyrean Guard is comparable to the true Archangels. The Empyrean rose symbolizes the enthroned souls of faithful people. In addition, angels buzz around the rose, distributing love and peace.


The cantos of Heaven of Jupiter deal with the question of salvation for non-Christians. This has long troubled Dante. It is impossible to achieve eternal life as a non-Christian without the sacraments of faith and baptism. What is the nature of this problem? How can a non-Christian be rewarded after dying in moral sin? These are all important questions that Dante ponders in this work.

In Jupiter in Paradido, Dante represents the souls in the heaven of Jupiter in the form of an eagle. The Eagle is a powerful symbol of the Empire, and in this case, the heavenly body of Jupiter. Trajan and Constantine were Roman emperors. The Trojan companion Ripheus is also closely related to the foundation of the Roman Empire. Jupiter, then, has many roles to play in the story of the formation of the Roman Empire.

The Sixth Sphere

The Sixth Sphere of Paradido is a paradise inhabited by angels and the Divine. Dante sees the angels in a hierarchical system of nine levels and three sets of three. The company of angels is called the Empyrean sphere, and in this sphere, the Celestial Rose is present as an image of God. Despite its name, the sixth sphere of Paradido is not directly connected to the Empyrean sphere.

The First Sphere of Paradido is the Primum Mobile, which is the physical origin of time, motion, and life. The Empyrean surrounds it and pours down God’s creative power. Dante describes the spheres as the heavens above the earth and explains that the earth is motionless at the center of these nine spheres. This sphere is also the final destination of Dante, who ascends to it from the Fourth Sphere.


Dante’s “Commedia dell’Arte” begins in the heart of Purgatory and ends in the heavenly rose, a metaphor for heaven in which all saints orbit around the light of God. In this scene, Dante returns to himself and expresses a new understanding of heaven. He learns that grace does not fall on all equally; it is equally distributed throughout the saints. Dante’s new vision of heaven leads him to re-examine the idea that ‘grace’ falls on all equally from the High Good.

Beatrice Paradido’s vision of the future is reminiscent of Dante’s version of the “poetics of the new” found in chapter 2 of the Undivided Comedy. In the same way, Dante and Beatrice are drawn toward greater joy, love, and happiness in Paradise. While these scenes are both evocative of the future, they also show how human will can become abused, purged, and ultimately returned to God.

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