“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” reads the inscription Dante placed at the gates of hell in his Inferno, the first part of his Divine Comedy. Guided by the Roman poet Virgil, Dante travels through nine circles of suffering within the Earth. That is, he literally goes through hell. In a way, Dante’s journey represents that of the soul towards God, and the Inferno is supposed to depict the recognition, repentance and rejection of sin.
And lest you think only really flagrant sinners are punished, you’ll find nobody gets away with anything in Dante’s vision of hell. Guilty of gluttony? Prepare to be bombarded with rain, hail and black snow. If you think flattery is no big deal, you might be singing a different tune when you are immersed with human excrement in the Eighth Circle of Hell.
To help you through your journey, Lapham’s Quarterly has shared this amazing, clear and clean infographic of Dante’s Inferno. May it serve you as well as Virgil served the poet!