Canto XXVII Circle eight: bolgia eight - the evil counselors

Contrapasso: souls are hidden from view inside great flames; since they stole from God in their lives and worked by hidden ways, their punishment is to be stolen from sight and hidden in the great flames which are their own guilty consciences. covered in fire to cover their guilt; more guilt=more fire

“As many fireflies as the peasant sees...such myriads of flames I saw shine through/ the gloom of the eighth abyss when I arrived (Inferno XXVI:25-32)."

“my Guide said: ‘There are souls within those flames;/ each sinner swathes himself in his own torment,’ (Inferno XXVI:47-48)."

'Soul engulfed in flames'

Key characters and allusions:

Count Guido Da Montefeltro, Boniface VIII, Sicilian bull

Why are they presented? How do they function?

  • exposition / all connected
  • fire, torture, betrayal


Drastically worse torture in the 8th circle than in the 1st circle; Dante continues to descend amongst the bolgia.

Literary Devices: simile, imagery, flashback

-Uses imagery to highlight the irony behind the sinners’ contrapasso(explained above)

→ ”...made to bellow by its victim’s cries/ in such a way, that though it was of brass,/ it seemed itself to howl and agonize:/ so lacking any way through or around/ the fire that sealed them in, the mournful words/ were changed into its language”(Inferno XXVII: 10-15)

-flashback used to recall past sin of Guido; why he is in this level of hell; also makes boniface look bad

Modern day application:

(Martin Shkreli -> raised AIDs cancer pill price 5000%)

Works Cited:

"Adobe Spark." Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016. <>. (images)

Alighieri, Dante, and John Ciardi. The Inferno. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1954. Print.

"FBI Arrests Martin Shkreli, CEO Who Raised AIDS, Cancer Pill 5,000%." WFXT. Fox News, 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 05 Dec. 2016. <>. (modern application)


Created with images by Tim Green aka atoach - "EVIL" • Werbefuzzy68 - "flame fire forge" • daily sunny - "Fire fairy" • djedj - "firenze florence italy" • Quad Dimensional Pictures - "A European Honeymoon: Day 15 (Frankfurt)" • Jonathan Lidbeck - "glsl-3-curves" • LoggaWiggler - "fire radio spark fire" • List_84 - "Pills"

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