A significant part of the Inferno by Dante evidently has a strong emphasis on political commentary particularly on the political scene of the Florence of fourteenth century from which he had created enemies and was exiled. His political views consequently play an important role in the arrangement of the context of his work. This he does through a number of varied assertions. He begins by condemning all his political enemies to suffering and turmoil by scattering them in the different rings of hell. His enemies from Florence constitute the largest number of sinners almost by half. Filipo Argenti for instance is damned to the Fifth circle after he seized all of Dante’s property when he was forcefully evicted from Florence. Farinata and Calvacante were condemned to the Sixth Circle of Heresy for their Epicurian beliefs. Brunetto and Lacopo, the Florentine sodomites were placed in the seventh circle. Others were punished for usury they included, Vitaliano, Guido, Giovanni, Reginaldo, Ciappo and Catello. His personal and political beliefs are asserted through his references that the state and the church are meant to exist as equal but separate powers on Earth. With the church governing the spirit and the state, people. Dante attempts to mention both his secular and spiritual significance in almost all of his references to Rome and Italy.
Treachery against the government and religion are according to Dante is placed in the very last and deepest circle, for it is a malicious sin highest in the wickedness scale. Although he asserts that the two, the state and the church, are significant, he greatly advocates for their separation. This is evidenced by his harsh punishments to individuals like Pope Nicholas III and Pope Celestin V and other souls who were guilty of going against the separation. Those who yearned for political power and accepted bribes were all punished alike. Dante took politics very seriously and throughout the poem, he meets various Italian souls damned to the deep abyss of Hell. His encounters with them, give him a chance to speak his political ideologies that relate to the religious and moral themes in the poem. His incorporation and interest in politics in his journey through hell serves to situate his own political opinions into a larger scheme of morality as well as to warn readers of the dangers of the ideals of his political enemies. The final picture portrayed by Dante in the ninth circle for the divine punishment against treachery of the devil himself, Lucifer who deceived God, captures the importance of the state and the church. Here Lucifer chews at Judas, who betrayed Christ and Brutus and Cassius who betrayed Caesar. Christ and Caesar are in this final part used symbolically to represent the church and the state respectively since Christ was a spiritual leader and Caesar a political leader. Evidently the rings of hell are divided according to the types of sins, self-indulgence, violence and malice.
In the end he is able to unite the political and the religious themes. Although his main intention and message was to emphasize on matters of spirituality, he is swayed by his political interest to use discussions on political human governments to pass the message of the existence of divine justice after life that mirrors that of earthly justice.
Cantos: 5, 6, 7, 9. 10, 13 15, 32, 34