|Creatures||Malacoda; All creatures from each circle|
- "Ten ditches leading down the final circle. Each filled with its own crimes, its own forms of punishment." -Thais
Fraud is the eighth Circle of Hell.
- "I live in shame, a whore awash in sewage. I confess I teased and seduced hundreds, led them to sin for my own gains. But I am just one of many who suffer here in the Malebolge." -Thais
Fraud is an extremely dark place that holds those guilty of deliberate, knowing evil, who used lies and deception for personal gain. This circle is divided into ten ditches, each holding a different type of liar and each has a different form of punishment. This circle is also home to every single demon and monster that appeared in the other circles. Each step down Fraud is a small arena in which the player will have to fight through the creatures of hell.
The ten ditches of the Malebolge are:
- Panderers and Seducers: "The panderers and seducers will spend eternity beaten, prodded and whipped by Lucifer's lieutenants."
- Flatters: "My brethren in the Malebolge, we flounder in sewage and waste."
- Simony: "Sellers of favors, crimes against the church. They are trapped in baptismal baths, their feet eternally in flames."
- Diviners: "The fortune tellers should have known that they cannot see with the eyes of God. They walk with their heads backwards, their eyes awash in tears."
- Grafters: "Great, winged demons tend to the grafters, who stole and embezzled in life. They are thrown into deep, vile pits."
- Hypocrites: "The cloaks of the hypocrites appear regal and noble, and yet worn as punishment, each lined with crippling lead."
- Thieves: "Thieves are held and bitten by serpents. The venom burns them to ash only so they may reform and suffer again."
- Evil Counselors: "Evil advisers who used their forked-tongues for counsel serving their own ends. They stand ablaze."
- Sowers of Discord: "They hold their heads and innards, the chaos they caused in life, cast upon them in death."
- Falsifiers: "All thoughts of pain and suffering fall upon the falsifiers. Hear their wailing and be warned."
- In the Divine Comedy, Fraud is separated into different Bolge:
- In the Panderers and Seducers Bolgia, Dante encounters Venedico Caccianemico and Jason (the hero Jason is placed here for seducing and abandoning the princess Medea, in violation of a holy vow).
- In the Flatters Bolgia, Dante encounters Alessio Interminei of Lucca and Thais.
- In the Simony Bolgia, Dante encounters Pope Nicholas III and Simon Magus (who tried to "buy" the Holy Spirit from St. Peter).
- In the Diviners Bolgia, Dante encounters Amphiaraus, Tiresias, Tiresias' daughter Manto, Aruns, Michael Scot, Alberto de Casalodi, and Guido Bonatti.
- The Grafters Bolgia is guarded by the Malebranche ("Evil Claws", a group of demonic creatures), led by Malacoda. The grafters were forced into large pits of burning tar, reminiscent of their "sticky fingers" in life.
- In the Hypocrites Bolgia, Dante encounters Catalano, Loderingo, and Caiaphas (the high priest who condemned Christ to death).
- The Thieves Bolgia is guarded by Cacus the Centaur, who has a fire-breathing dragon on his shoulder. In Greek Mythology, Cacus was a fire-breathing monster that was slain by Hercules. Some notable thieves are included in the passage: Vanni Fucci is turned to ashes and resurrected, Agnello is blended with the six-legged reptile that is Cianfa, and Buoso exchanges shapes with the four-legged Francesco. When one of the thieves attempts to curse God, one of the serpents coils itself around his throat to silence him before he is deprived of his human form.
- In the Evil Counselors Bolgia, Dante encounters Odysseus and Diomedes (who are condemned here for their role in the Trojan Horse), and Guido da Montefeltro. Odysseus tells Dante of his final voyage, during which he had spotted Mount Purgatory before his ship was overturned, drowning the former king of Ithaca.
- In the Sowers of Discord Bolgia, a sword-wielding demon hacks away at the Sowers of Discord, symbolizing how these sinners divided people and nations. They are not killed, but instead travel back in a circle to the demon, by which time their bodies have fully regenerated. Then are then hacked to pieces all over again. Dante encounters Fra Dolcino and Bertran de Born (the advisor to Henry the Young King, who rebelled against his father, King Henry II of England).
- In the Falsifiers Bolgia, Dante sees Potifar's wife Zuleikha (who had lusted after Joseph, son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob, and used his robe to falsely accuse him of rape when he refused her advances) and Sinon (a Greek spy who tricked the Trojans into taking the Trojan Horse into Troy) are mentioned to be here as well as Myrrha. Sinon is here instead of the Evil Counselors Bolgia because his advice was false as well as evil.
- It is interesting to note that you never get to see any of the souls condemned to the Malebolge suffering their respective punishment. All that you get is a statue showing what the sinner's condemnation is on the side of the arena above each ditch. Screams can be heard coming up from the inky darkness below each arena however.
- In The Divine Comedy, unlike the other Hypocrites and shown on the Hypocrite Bolgia statues, Caiaphas is crucified to the floor of the bolgia (reflecting his hypocritical action of having Jesus Christ executed by crucifixion). He is constantly trampled on by the other hypocrites as they walk near him.
- Fraud is unrelated to Divine Love or a corrupted virtuous desire, hence it is placed lower in Hell by Dante. However, fraud can be said to be a natural consequence of the Deadly Sins (upon which Circles 2 through 5 are based).
- Fraud in its own right is wasteful to Life itself; it is more serious than the other previous sins due to the sinners' assumption of being able to corrupt and manipulate God's creations for evil gain. As such, the Fraudulent are committing a form of hubris against God, and are placed among the lowest circles (Violence, Treachery), which share in this form of power-assumption.
|Nine Circles of Hell|
|Limbo · Lust · Gluttony · Greed · Anger · Heresy · Violence · Fraud · Treachery|