When the Pilgrim turns at last towards the stelle, towards heaven, he's just been baptized in the santissima waters of Eunoe (bathing in the River Lethe lets a soul into this Eden; bathing in Eunoe enables the ascent to Heaven).
All this presents a distinct contrast to the outstanding "plant" up beyond the River Lethe, the tallest tree there and the one honored with a chanting circle-dance by Beatrice, her angels, and a monstrous but gentle menagerie.
At the end of the play, seen in the photo at right, Eurydice and her father have dipped themselves in the River Lethe
, the River of Forgetfulness, and are sleeping for all eternity.
In Virgil's underworld, those who will be reborn drink from the river Lethe
to forget their past.
Those who have crossed over, whether the River Lethe
or that crinkle in the brain that controls speech and reason, leave behind their lives and identities--their memories" (171).
When they met her, the dead faced a choice: drink from the river Lethe
and forget the terror of this human life, or drink from the river Mnemosyne and remember.