Dante's Inferno: Canto 25

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Canto 25 in Dante's Inferno is referring
to the Eigth Circle of hell in the 7th

pocket. In this pocket is where the thieves spend the rest of eternity. It is in this

pocket that the punishment for the thieves is to have snakes which steal the

bodies of the thieves. This punishment is very fitting for the sin.

The punishment for having committed this sin is that the thief must always

be on the look-out for a snake. The reason this punishment is fitting is because

many people think of thieves as snakes. They come and go unnoticed and are

able to take what they please. Now, the thieves in turn must play a

game of who can keep their
body the longest. In the last instance that Dante

presents the reader of a thief being attacked, a snake slithered and sneaked up

on two thieves as they watched another being attacked by another snake. The

snake came up behind the middle one and bit him. As a result the thief was then

parallized and could do nothing but watch as the snake slowly transformed

exactly inverse to how the thief was transforming. The end result was that the

snake had turned into a mirror copy of the thief at the price of the thief turning into

a snake. This fits the punishment so well since in life the thieves stole from many

good people, and these people could do nothing but watch their lives get stolen

away right under their
noses. Now the thieves must watch as these snakes

literally steal lives. Though it is somewhat twisted how the thieves almost enjoy

watching others suffer or lose their
bodies.

"...then back it fell and lay stretched out before him.
The wounded thief stared speechless at the beast,
and standing motionless...The snake and he
were staring at each other;"

When reading this one would thing how impossible it was for the thief to

even have resisted. Nothing could help him as the snake slowly stole is body.

Dante felt it was...
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