Within Dante’s Inferno there are nine levels of Hell, each more gruesome than the last. Each one portrays a different group of sinners, with related sins. Each circle of Hell has a different punishment, and different gates leading to the next stage. Most every circle of Hell is made up of three mini-circles of torment, with each punishment getting progressively worse.
According to Dante, there are many circles in hell. The first circle in Hell is called Limbo. Each of the individuals who die before being baptized and those who live as virtuous pagans are condemned to spend all of eternity in this level. The people being referred to in this level are those who die before accepting Christianity, essentially it’s a gray wasteland, not truly hell, yet nowhere near Heaven, its barley comparable to anything on the Earth. Within this circle individuals who die as non-Christians, including but not limited to, philosophers who typically do not associate themselves with any religion are going to be condemned to this circle for eternity. Two of the many examples which are provided by Dante include famous philosophers like Socrates and Plato. This level is the least severe in terms of punishment and is the farthest from Satan, I feel that this is God’s way of having mercy on those who have not had a chance to accept Christ as their lord and savior.
The second circle is the circle of lust and contains the desperate and the despondent souls.. All the sinners who have been found to be guilty of lust will be condemned to this level for eternity. The individual souls found guilty of lustful sins are being scattered and blown around without any hope of rest. In this circle, people are subjected to eternal unrest an...
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...ts who are guilty of the same crime will also be subjected to similar punishments as stipulated under the eighth level. Other persons such as the liars and thieves will also be condemned to suffer in this level. Diomedes and Ulysses are some of the characters who are considered as possible leaders of this level.
The last level and the closest to Satan is that of treachery. In this level, the individuals who will be condemned are those who betray special relationships, including all traitors to family members, those who betray their country, those who are disloyal to their guests and those who conspire against their masters. Cain, Judas, Ptolomea and Guelph, are considered as the potential leaders of all the people who will be condemned to this level. This level is therefore considered to be the most severe in terms of punishment as compared to the rest.
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