At Virgil's persuasion, Antaeus takes the Poets in his large palm and lowers them gently to the final level of Hell. Then they come to the Acheron, an infernal river, where the boatman Charon ferries the damned souls into Hell. Dante then asks about figures from Florence's political past, naming individuals he believes to have been well intentioned. Dis, itself surrounded by the Stygian marsh, contains Lower Hell within its walls. Restlessly seeking new challenges, he sailed beyond the western edge of the Mediterranean, which was believed to constitute the rim of the Earth; legend asserted that death awaited any mariner venturing beyond that point. Dante notes one soul burning among flames redder than any others, and he goes to speak with him.
On the way, they happen upon a sinner whom Dante angrily recognizes as Filippo Argenti. At the top of the falls, at Virgil's order, Dante removes a cord from about his waist and Virgil drops it over the edge; as if in answer, a large, distorted shape swims up through the filthy air of the abyss. The soul and the reptile stare at each other, transfixed, as the reptile slowly takes on the characteristics of the man and the man takes on those of the reptile. They find their way hindered by the serpentine , who judges all of those condemned for active, deliberately willed sin to one of the lower circles. Dante shall leave behind not his hope, but his hesitation, fulfilling the divine will to go through Hell and see the suffering of people and other beings who were unfaithful to God. The Eighth Circle is a large funnel of stone shaped like an around which run a series of ten deep, narrow, concentric ditches or trenches called bolge singular: bolgia. Some of the notes and quotes derive from the Princeton Dante Project and the Wikipedia.
Naked and futile, they race around through the mist in eternal pursuit of an elusive, wavering banner symbolic of their pursuit of ever-shifting while relentlessly chased by swarms of and , who continually sting them. Geryon, the winged monster who allows Dante and Virgil to descend a vast cliff to reach the Eighth Circle, was traditionally represented as a giant with three heads and three conjoined bodies. In Limbo there are the virtuous non-Christians: ancient Greek and Roman heroes, philosophers, and so forth. So could you please make that scary wolf-thingy go away? They are stung by hornets and wasps, and worms feed on their blood and tears. When Virgil assures Dante that his love, Beatrice, is looking out for him, Dante feels uplifted and ready to start his journey.
These are the loyalties to kin, to country and party, to guests, and to benefactors. The suicide was Pier della Vigna, who had committed suicide while wrongfully imprisoned by his patron. Virgil himself resides here, and has been given only a brief leave to guide Dante. Finally, Virgil manages to talk to one of the sinners who is being tortured outside of the pit. Dante in some sense thus makes himself an even greater hero than the famous Ulysses. Here Dante sees the brothers Alessandro and Napoleone degli Alberti, who killed each other over their inheritance and their politics some time between 1282 and 1286. Christ granted these souls amnesty when he descended into Hell during the time between his death and resurrection an episode commonly known as the Harrowing of Hell.
The only land left in the southern hemisphere is Mt. Virgil rebukes Minos, and he and Dante continue on. Master Adam and Sinon exchange abuse, which Dante watches until he is rebuked by Virgil. Virgil explains that these cries emanate from the souls of those who did not commit to either good or evil but who lived their lives without making conscious moral choices; therefore, both Heaven and Hell have denied them entry. The First Ring of the Ninth Circle of Hell is called Caina after Cain, who, as Genesis recounts, slew his brother, Abel , where traitors to their kin receive their punishment. Dante sees a mountain with the sun shining above it. Therefore, if Hell is the place for people who made deliberate and intentional wrong choices, there must be a place for those people who refused to choose either evil or good.
In the Second Ring of the Seventh Circle of Hell, Virgil and Dante enter a strange wood filled with black and gnarled trees. Dante and Virgil advance toward the giant, mist-shrouded shape. Dante doesn't get a lot of time to feel relief, though, because almost as soon as Virgil is done speaking ''all the twilight country shook so violently. Then, the story of creation of Hell from Primal Love, Justice and The Highest Wisdom. Together with the angels who sided with neither God nor Satan in their war, they dwell here at the edge of hell, rejected by both heaven and hell. They lead Dante to a great castle with seven walls, wherein he sees the souls of other great figures from the past: the philosophers Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato; Aeneas, Lavinia, and other characters from the Aeneid; the mathematician Euclid and the astronomer Ptolemy; and many others.
In despair, he sinks back down in his grave. Lower Hell is further subdivided: Circle 7 Violence is divided into three rings, Circle 8 Simple Fraud is divided into ten bolge, and Circle 9 Complex Fraud is divided into four regions. They passed to the second circle, where the demon Minos judged the sinners and assigned them their place in Hell. Ulysses says that when he returned home from his long voyage from Troy, after being detained by the witch Circe, he still had an urge to travel and explore. In the first, Dante saw naked sinners being whipped by demons.
The Italians among them beg Dante to carry messages to certain men still living on Earth. Charon isn't expecting to see someone still alive among his passengers, and he angrily tells Dante he won't take him in his boat. The inhabitants of Ante-Inferno are shown as miserable and even more hopeless. Latini predicts that Dante will be rewarded for his heroic political actions. Alessio Interminei of Lucca and are seen here. In his various portrayals of Rome, Dante describes it as both the ultimate temporal power, a City of Man, and the spiritual center of Europe, a City of God. Chief among the first category is , the founder of : his body is ripped from groin to chin, with his entrails hanging out.
As he and Virgil progress, Dante worries that they may have provoked the demons too much with this embarrassment. The souls in this ring—those who were violent against themselves or their possessions Suicides and Squanderers, respectively —have been transformed into trees. Dante threatens Bocca and tears out some of his hair before leaving him in the ice. Dante then fainted and fell to the ground out of sheer terror. Dante spoke with the spirit of Francesca da' Rimini, who had fallen unhappily in love with her husband's younger brother. The cries of pain resounding in the air beyond the gate cause Dante to weep. Here they find a desert of red-hot sand, upon which flakes of fire drift down slowly but ceaselessly.