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Dante's Inferno

             Dante's Inferno is one of the three parts of his Divine Comedy. The Inferno is divided into thirty-four cantos, each containing a description of a specific region of hell. Sinners in each area are punished for different sins. Sinners of lust suffer in upper hell, sinners of violence in middle hell, and the sinners of fraud in the lowest part of hell. The sufferings of these people are portrayed through Dante's eyes as he descends lower and lower into hell with Virgil, his helper. The punishment for each sinner corresponds to the sin that they committed. In Canto 18, Dante and Virgil travel into the First and Second Pouch of the eighth circle of hell, also called Malebolge. This region of hell is divided into ten parts, or "pouches-, where sinners of "ordinary- fraud are punished. In the First Pouch, the panders and seducers are whipped by horned demons. Here Dante encountered Venédico Caccianemico, a Bolognese who pandered his own sister, giving her to another man as a prostitute. These panders and seducers had forced other people to obey them, many times against their will, and had tortured them if they didn't listen. As compensation for their sins, they are being held under the control of the demons, and are also being tortured continually. This continual suffering also accounts for the surplus time these sinners had in manipulating others. In the Second Pouch, flatterers are punished by being made to live in an abysmal pit of excrement. Flatterers are sycophants who try to use insincere and excessive praise to look good in other people's eyes. These false attentions and comments are commonly called "bull-*censored*- in slang. This applies directly to what these sinners are condemned to live in forever. In the 23rd Canto, Dante and Virgil travel from the Fifth Pouch of Malebolge to the Sixth Pouch, where hypocrites are being punished. They are made to walk around in circles in cloaks that are overlaid with a thin covering of gold on the outside, but inlaid with a very thick heavy layer of lead.

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