We offer this short guide to the nine circles of Hell , as described in Dante’s Inferno. First Circle: Limbo. Second Circle: Lust. Third Circle: Gluttony. Fourth Circle: Greed. Fifth Circle: Anger. Sixth Circle: Heresy. Seventh Circle: Violence. Eighth Circle: Fraud.
He does this because his poem’s spiritual pattern is not classical but Christian: Dante’s journey to Hell represents the spiritual act of dying to the world, and hence it coincides with the season of Christ’s own death.
Dante’s First Circle of Hell is resided by virtuous non-Christians and unbaptized pagans who are punished with eternity in an inferior form of Heaven. They live in a castle with seven gates which symbolize the seven virtues.
Kennedy’s favorite quotations, which he attributed to Dante, was that “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” Of course Dante never actually said that, but the sense of the statement is clearly to be found in these lines from the third canto of the
As the eighth of nine circles, Malebolge is one of the worst places in hell to be.
The exact temperature of hell cannot be computed but it must be less than 444.6°C, the temperature at which brimstone or sulfur changes from a liquid to a gas.
Virgil leads Dante on a climb down Lucifer’s massive form, holding on to his frozen tufts of hair. Eventually, the poets reach the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, and travel from there out of Hell and back onto Earth. They emerge from Hell on Easter morning, just before sunrise.
Virgil cannot go on to see God because he will not understand what he sees. Throughout Purgatorio, the need for Virgil slowly diminished. If he were to enter Heaven , Virgil’s presence may cease to exist because he could never fathom anything divine, like the angel opening the way to the City of Dis.
The seven levels of Purgatory , called terraces, correspond to the seven deadly sins of pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust. The punishments aim to teach the sinners in each terrace the virtue opposite of whatever sin they have committed.
Virgil figures he may as well take advantage of their downtime to describe the layout of the upcoming circles. He explains, ”Malice is the sin most hated by God . And the aim of malice is to injure others whether by fraud or violence.
Medieval theologians of western Europe described the underworld (” hell “, “hades”, “infernum”) as divided into four distinct parts : Hell of the Damned, Purgatory, Limbo of the Fathers or Patriarchs, and Limbo of the Infants.
Treachery is an intentional betrayal of love and trust. It undermines the basis of human relationships and the social contract. It could be argued that the acceptance of treachery will lead to the acceptance of all other evil.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest form of appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy, Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis” Paperback – August 7, 2017.
Dante reserved this worst place in hell for three people, those who have betrayed their lords and benefactors: Judas Iscariot , Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus . To Dante, these three were the greatest sinners in human history and imagined the proper punishment for their heinous crimes.