What are the three beasts that block Dante?
The three beasts of worldliness: The leopard of malice and fraud, the lion of violence and ambition, and the she-wolf of incontinence. They foreshadow the three divisions of Hell (incontinence, violence, and fraud)
Who is Virgil?
Virgil is a Roman poet (one of his most famous works is the epic Aeneid. He stands as Dante’s symbol for human reason.
The Vestibule of Hell
A lobby of sorts after the Gate of Hell where The Opportunists dwell. They were those who in life were neither for good nor evil but only for themselves. Their punishment is that they are neither in Hell nor out of it and continuously chase a banner while chased by swarms of wasps and hornets. Identified is Pope Celestine V. Charon carries souls across the river Acheron.
Circle One: Limbo
Limbo is where the Virtuous Pagans reside. These are those who were born without the light of Christ’s revelation and therefore cannot come into the light of God but are not tormented either. Identified are great poets Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan. The Citadel of Human Reason resides in Limbo as well and is where the Master Souls of Pagan Antiquity exists, which is the highest state man can achieve without God.
The Carnal reside in Circle Two. Minos, a semi-bestial judge who assigns each soul their eternal torment with his coiling tail, blocks the way. The Carnal, those whose sin was to abandon themselves to the tempest of their passions, are swept forever in Hell in a whirlwind. Identified are figures such as Cleopatra, Semiramis, Achilles, and Tristan. Dante calls to a couple, Francesca and Polo, to hear their story.
The Gluttons reside in Circle Three. They are those who in life made no higher use of the gifts of God than to wallow in food and drink, producers of nothing but garbage and offal. They lie in fetid slush while Cerberus, a three-headed dog, slavers over them. Ciacco “the Hog”, a citizen of Dante’s own Florence, addresses Dante and utters the first of the political prophecies.
The Hoarders and the Wasters reside in Circle Four. Plutus guards the fourth circle. The sinners are divided into two raging mobs, the hoarders and the wasters, each soul straining at a great boulder-like weight and clashing their weights against each other. Their souls are encumbered by dead weights and one excess serves to punish the other. Dimmed souls so no one identified.
The Wrathful and the Sullen reside in Circle Five. The fifth circle is the Marsh of Styx, the last station of Upper Hell. The Wrathful attack each other in the slime while the Sullen lie beneath it because in life they refused to welcome the sweet light of the Sun (Divine Illumination) and in death they are buried below the Styx gargling like a parody of hymn singing. Phlegyas is the boatman of Styx. Filippo Argenti, one of the Wrathful, is identified.
Circle Six: Dis
The sixth circle is blocked by the Iron Gate guarded by the Rebellious Angels. Circle Six is referred to as Dis, the Capital of Hell. Virgil and Dante must rely on Divine Aid to pass through. The Three Infernal Furies, symbols of Eternal Remorse, appear near them and threaten the poets and call for Medusa before the Heavenly Messenger arrives.
The Heretics reside in Circle Six. By heretics, Dante specifically means those who did violence to God by denying immortality. Since they taught that the soul dies with the body, so their punishment is an eternal grave in the fiery morgue of God’s wrath. Farinata Degliuberti, a great war-chief of the Tuscan Ghibellines, recognizes Dante and calls for him. Interrupted by Cavalcante Del Cavalcanti who wonders after his son Guido Cavalcanti. Farinata prophesizes Dante’s banishment from Florence. Pope Anastasius is also identified in Circle Six.
Where are the Incontinent punished versus the Violent and the Fraudulent?
The Incontinent are punished in the upper Hell outside of Dis while the rest are punished in lower Hell within Dis. This is because incontinence offends God least and earns least blame from Justice and Charity.
What sin is most hated by God?
Malice which aims to injure others by either fraud or violence. Fraud is the vice of which man alone is capable so God loathes it the most and therefore the fraudulent are placed below and their torment is more painful.
Violence sins in three persons, what are they?
Violence against God, violence against self, and violence against neighbor.
Circle Seven: Round One
The violent against neighbors. At first path blocked by Minotaur. River of Blood marks the first round of the seventh circle, as these souls wallowed in blood during their lives, so they are immersed in the boiling blood forever (immersion depends on degree of his guilt). Centaurs patrol and Chiron assigns Nessus to guide Virgil and Dante. Identified is Alexander the Great and Atila.
Circle Seven: Round Two
The Violent Against Themselves, the Wood of Suicides. The souls of the Suicides are encased in thorny trees whose leaves are eaten by Harpies, and to communicate with them their blood must flow from being wounded to speak. Poets speak to Pier Delle Vigne and an Unknown Florentine Suicide whose soul is inside a bush.
Circle Seven: Round Three
The Violent Against God, Nature, and Art reside in a great Plain of Burning Sand upon which there descends an eternal slow Rain of Fire. The Blasphemers (violent against God) are stretched supine upon the sand, the Sodomites (violent against Nature) run in endless circles, and the Usurers (Violent against Art, which is the Grandchild of God) hyddle on the sands. Identified is Capaneus.
How many Bolgia in Circle Eight?