When one is aware of the fraud or treachery they have committed, they are sent to the last two circles of Hell to make amends for their sins. In this article, you will learn of the eighth circle, which involves a range of levels that a soul may encounter.
Eighth Circle (Fraud)
The eighth circle of Hell is reserved for those who have consciously committed fraud. A large cliff is the only way that someone can reach the last two circles. Dante and Virgil reach the eighth circle with the help of Geryon. They sit on the back of the winged monster and make the necessary descent. The monster also serves as the image of fraud with a face that seems like an honest man. His body is an appealing color. However, he is a deception because the creature is also equipped with a poisonous sting in his tail.
Those who are guilty of deliberate, knowing evil are found in the circle called Malebolge, which translates into “evil pockets.” There are ten ditches of stone (called bolgia) that the circle is divided into with bridges that connect each ditch. They include:
Ditch 1: In separate lines moving in opposite directions, panderers and seducers are made to march. All the while, demons deliver a whipping for all eternity, which is representative of the driving passion that encouraged them to do wrong in the first place. Amongst the group of panderers, the poets recognize Venedico Caccianemico, who sold his own sister to the Marchese d’ Este. Virgil also spies in the group of seducers Jason, who gained the assistance of Medea by seducing and marrying her. His crime was that he later left her behind for another woman , Creusa. This was not the first incident where Jason used seducing powers to his advantage. He also took advantage of Hypsipyle, who he also abandoned “alone and pregnant.”
Ditch 2: Those who exploited other people by using flattering techniques are found here. There method of choice is by using their gift of gab to take advantage of others. They are condemned to spend eternity in a pile of human excrement, which symbolized the kinds of words they used to persuade others to listen.
Ditch 3: The third ditch moves Dante to express his opinion on the condemnation of those who committed simony, which involves a crime regarding the payment for sacraments to obtain positions in the church. Positioned in holes found in the rock, these individuals are placed headfirst. The soles of their feet are singed with flames that continuously burn. Pope Nicholas III is here, where he states that two of his successors, Pope Boniface VIII and Pope Clement V are guilty for the same offence.