For instance, Dante tried to describe for the reader the overview and the fantastic terrors of hell and with it, he was outlining seven sins wherein: the first circle was limbo); second circle was lust, third circle was gluttony; fourth circle was avarice and prodigality; fifth circle was wrath and sullenness; sixth circle was heresy; seventh circle was violence; eight circle was fraud; and, the ninth circle, treachery).
Each description of the circles of hell represented how a specific sin consumes man. The case of the second circle (lust) is a case in point. Those souls being punished in this area were being blown about by the ferocious winds – back and forth, symbolizing the overpowering influence of lust in men who, like the wind are blown aimlessly and needlessly. The only person allowed to speak here was Francesca (an allegory for Eve), who first testified the sheer pain of the punishment when she said: “There is no greater woe than to remember days of happiness amid affliction” (48).
Then, there was Dante himself who represented man as he was being presented with choices – either to sin or to reject it. He was first seen in Canto I lost in the woods and unable to find the right way (diritta via). He had a realization of his predicament and accepted the help of a guide, the poet Virgil even when it meant going another way, leaving a wasteful life behind, and passing through an eternal place with fantastic peril. Here Dante was like all men who must choose his way to salvation or damnation. In this area, another symbolism emerged to depict man’s faculty in his journey through sin, the poet Virgil.
Virgil led Dante on a tour through Hell and this represented not just what the character immediately represented as poet, but as a guide, which immediately brings the reader to the element of the human reason. Dante,