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Inferno's Ninth Circle

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Mickey Lanning

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of Inferno's Ninth Circle

Caina, Antenora, Ptolomea, Judecca Dante's Ninth Circle The environment in which these sinners must spend eternity closely resembles the state of their hearts while they were living. The fact that they betrayed kin, guests, and their benefactors and homeland means that they deliberately turned against any sense of love or respect for the people they betrayed. While many of the circles above the center of hell depict fiery fates, the ninth circle of Dante’s hell is littered with sinners covered with ice. The stars, especially in Dante’s time period, remind us of just how vast the universe is and that we can’t possibly know everything about it. Though Dante writes of his journeys through hell, purgatory, and heaven, he still has to make his way back to Earth to put what he has learned to use. After his journeys, the stars remind Dante of what he believes his out there. "Caina is named after the biblical Cain(first child of Adam and Eve) who slew his brother Abel out of envy after God showed appreciation for Abel's sacrificial offering but not Cain's." There are four cities that make up the ninth circle of Dante's hell. The first city, Caina, is where the sinners who betrayed their kin dwell. These souls are submerged in ice up to their necks. Dante notices a pair of souls who are face to face and are later to be revealed as the Bisenzio brothers who killed each other over their differences in politics. The second city, Antenora, is where the souls who betrayed their homeland or party will spend eternity. It is in this city that we observe Dante lose his mind while speaking to an uncooperative soul, pulling out wads of his hair and vowing to slander his reputation up in the live world. Dante also comes across a character named Ugolino who is forever chewing on the head of his own betrayer, Ruggieri. Ptolomea, the third city, is the home of those who were traitors against their guests. The most interesting thing about Ptolomea is that it has the power to bring a soul to hell before his earthly body is dead, as is the situation for Fra Alberigo. A demon goes forth into the world and into the body in place of the sinner. Judecca, the fourth city, is named after Christ's betrayer, Judas Iscariot. In this last round all of the sinners are punished by being completely submerged from head to toe in ice. This is where Satan himself is half-trapped in the ice. Satan's three heads chew on Judas, Cassius, and Brutus, who are the most famous traitors in history. One example of doubled figures in the Dante's hell, other than Ugolino and Ruggieri, are Francesca da Rimina and her husband's brother Pablo. Because they participated in adultery together, they are condemned to the second circle of hell together. Another example of this kind of pairing is the Bisenzio brothers in Caina who killed each other over politics. Now they are frozen in such a way that they must forever face each other. At the end of Dante's Inferno, Virgil and Dante emerge from hell on Easter Sunday. By Mickey Lanning, Paul Cuellar, Morgan Graef, Marisa Fuentes, and Taylin Neff
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