In the classic Christian allegory Dante's Inferno, the spirit Virgil guides Dante the pilgrim through the nine circles of hell. Each Circle is reserved for a certain type of sinner, such examples include the Second (Lustful), the Seventh (Violent), and the Eighth(simple fraud/malice). The reason behind the hierarchy of hell in this book is because each sinner receives a punishment that has certain significance to the sin committed, either by an outside agent of torture, a demon, or within themselves.
An example of an outside agent of torture being utilized is in the Second Circle. Virgil and Dante see various naked shades spun around in a constant hurricane (p. 110). These were the lustful, and included in this ring were many people, ranging from the empress Semiramus (p. 111) to the adulterer Francesca (p. 113). The significance of this punishment is that their actions do not indicate a tranquil demeanor and that the sinners are oblivious to common sense (p. 115).
In the Seventh Circle, there are 3 rings for different types of violence; one of them is the Wood of the Suicides. As their punishment, they were to exist as trees (p. 186-7) and the only way they can speak is if a demon breaks off a branch, which causes much pain. As an addend to their suffering, on judgment day, they will not be able to use their bodies, for they will hang "on a thorn of it's own alien shade" (p. 189). The punishment is significant in that they used pain as an outlet in life, so it would be their only outlet in the afterlife. Furthermore, because they didn't respect their physical form on earth, they can never receive it again in hell (p. 193).
In the Eighth Circle of Hell, there are 10 bolgias reserved for different types of fraud. The 10th Bolgia is reserved for the falsifiers. As their punishment, they were afflicted with different illnesses (p. 337). They were divided into 4 distinct categories, the alchemists, who had leprosy (p.