Fallen Souls in "The Inferno"
Thesis Statement: In each Circle and Canto there are different penalties to pay
but it is for sure that each forbidden soul in the Inferno will live forever in
II. Medea and Jason
A. Jason's love affair.
B. Medea and the three children exiled.
C. Medea's slaying of the three children and Glauce.
D. Jason's penalties.
III. O. J. Simpson
A. His Crime.
B. His Penalties in the Inferno and in life.
IV. Benedict Arnold
A. His Crime.
B. His Penalties in Hell.
Cantos III, V, and XXXIV are only three of the Cantos of the fallen
souls of the Inferno. The Inferno is the place we call Hell. It reeks with bad
smells and bugs and fire along with the many other hideous things. The Inferno
has many Cantos and Circles, each for a different sin or wrong doing towards
another. In each circle and Canto there are different penalties to pay but it
is for sure that each forbidden soul in the Inferno will live forever in eternal
Our first soul to discuss is eternally locked in Canto V, Circle Two:
The Carnal. This man, Jason, became king of Cornith by committing adultery
against his wife, Medea, with the king of Cornith's daughter, Glauce. Jason
returns to Medea and tells her that she and their three children are to leave
his home immediately so he and Glauce can move in. The following day Medea
sends Glauce a poisoned robe which kills her. This causes Jason to come to
Medea for revenge, where he finds his three children murdered by their mother's
hand. Jason grief stricken falls upon his own sword and dies there with his
sons. Jason is reputed to the Carnal a place where souls who give up there own
life for passion "are swept forever in the tempest of Hell, forever denied the
light of reason and of God," (Literature 635). He is forever with the judge of
The Caina is "the first ring of the last circle where those who
performed acts of treachery against their kin," (Literature 638). One destined
for the Caina is O. J. Simpson. This man committed a sin that would send him to
Canto XXXII. Simpson killed his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald
Goldman in a jealous rage. Simpson will surely be judged by Minos to go to
Caina were his soul will forever have to live in retribution and think about
what he had done against his wife, Nicole. O. J. will also have to live the
rest of his life on earth and pay cash sums to the Brown's and Goldman's. And
he will also have to live and watch his children grow up without a mother and
see their pain, the pain that he will experience in Hell.
The last Circle of Canto XXXIV, Circle Nine, Cocytus, is the final and
most punished place for souls. In Cocytus the people were "treacherous to their
masters," (Literature 641). The punishment in Cocytus is given by Satan himself.
The "souls of the last class (with fear my verses tell it) were covered wholly;
they shone below the ice like straws in glass," (Literature 641). And among
these ice covered souls is the soul of Benedict Arnold, an American officer of
the American Revolutionary War. During Arnold's time as an officer he became
one of George Washington's most trusted officers. But his deceit and
worthlessness was shown when Arnold "sold his services to the British," (New
Standard Enc. A-627). Arnold supplied the Brits with valuable military
information and agreed to turn over West Point to John André` a major in the
British army. The plot fell through and Arnold fled from New England to London
where he spent the rest of his life "in obscurity poverty," (New Standard Enc.
A-627). Now Arnold pays for his sins in the arms of Satan in Cocytus.
Many souls truly repent and are sent to Heaven but some fail to regret
and are sent to Hell. These souls in Hell are being continuously punished for
their misgivings, yet some worse than others. Although some receive worse
punishment than others they all pay dearly and reap what they have sewn in life.
Hell is a place of eternal agony and misery where the evil of the world spends
its spirit life. The Inferno, the eternal suffrage for the condemned.
"Arnold, Benedict." New Standard Encyclopedia. 1982 ed.
"Jason." New Standard Encyclopedia. 1982 ed.
"Medea." New Standard Encyclopedia. 1982 ed.
Thompson, Eileen, ed. Prentice Hall Literature: World Masterpieces. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1991.
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