This essay investigates types of sociality enacted through song, as depicted in Dante’s Earthly Paradise. The first section of the essay argues that the singing of Psalm 30 (In te, Domine, speravi) in Purgatorio 30 is a way of enacting a particular mode of compassion. In the second section of the essay I argue that Dante’s depiction of Psalm 30—together with his depiction of the antiphon sung in Purgatorio 31, the Asperges me—invites a devotional response from the reader. The sociality of prayer can involve not only the characters, but also the readers of the Commedia. I investigate the liturgical context in which Dante and medieval readers would have known and lived the Asperges me. I argue that here, at the end of the narrative of his penitential journey, Dante, with this antiphon, invites the reader to her own performance of penance.
"SINGING FOR DANTE IN ‘PURGATORIO’ 30–31,"
Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies: Vol. 1, Article 7.
Available at: https://repository.upenn.edu/bibdant/vol1/iss1/7