Inferno Canto XVIII

Inferno 18

He railed: ‘What whets your appetite to stare at me
more than all the others in their filth?’»

vv. 118-119

Eighth Circle: the first pit: Panders and Seducers. – Venedico Caccianimico. – Jason. – Second pit: false flatterers. – Alessio Interminei. – Thais.

The eigth circle is called Malebolge, which means “Evil-Pouches,” because the circle is divided into ten different sections around the chasm in the middle. In the first pouch, Dante saw sinners being scourged by demons as they unsuccessfully tried to escape the whips. Dante thought he saw someone he knew, and although the shade tried to conceal himself by lowering his head, Dante did indeed recognize him to be Venedico Caccianemico. He asked him why he was being punished there, and Venedico explained that he had persuaded a girl named Ghisolabella to do what the Marquis wanted: he was a pander. Venedico also said that there were many other people from Bologna there, like him. A demon then interrupted their conversation and make Venedico go with the others. Climbing along the ridge, Dante then pointed out to Virgil another shade who looked noble even though he was being lashed. This, Virgil said, was Jason, who was being punished for his behavior towards Hypsipyle, a girl he had seduced and abandoned, and Medea. The inhabitants of the first pouch are thus panders and seducers.

In the next pouch, sinners waded through masses of human excrement, of which they tried in vain to clean themselves. Dante recognized one, Alessio Interminei of Lucca, despite his filthiness; Alesso said that he was there because of his flatteries. Virgil pointed out another sinner, a filthy woman who had been Thais, a harlot who had said that she was very grateful to her lover.

Riassunto in inglese tratto da

Canto adopted by Cristiana e Franco Zanoletti

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