INFERno - Dante
Inferno tells the story of how the poet Dante (he places himself as the main character in this EPIC POEM) strays off a straight path (moral truth and goodness) and gets lost in a dark wood (temptation and sin).
Just as three wild animals are about to attack him, Dante is rescued by the ghost of Virgil, a famous Ancient Roman poet (and Dante’s idol). When Dante asks why Virgil appeared to save his life, Virgil answers that the rulers of heaven took pity on him and asked Beatrice (Dante's-now dead-living-in-heaven-girlfriend) to send someone to help him stay on the path of truth. Knowing her bae loves Virgil, Beatrice sends Virgil's ghost to the rescue!
To convince Dante to resist sin and temptation, Virgil decides to take him on a tour of hell (a kind of see-what-will-happen-to-you-if-you-keep-behaving-in-this-way preview). The poem chronicles Dante's journey through the nine circles of hell and his return to the mortal world.
Ugolino and his sons - Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, 1867
In the ninth circle of hell, Dante and Virgil meet Count Ugolino della Gherardesca who was a real person that lived in 12th century Pisa. He was a tyrant who ruled his subject unfairly and with great malice. In real life, Ugolino was arrested and placed in a jail cell with his sons to starve to death. Eventually, after his sons died of starvation, Ugolino is rumored to have eaten their dead bodies. Dante, places Ugolino in the ninth circle of hell for betraying his countrymen, but also for betraying his sons by eating them.
From Dante's Inferno, Canto 33
But when to our somber cell was thrown
A slender ray, and each face was lit
I saw in each the aspect of my own,
For very brief both of my hand I bit,
And suddenly from the floor arising they,
Thinking my hunger was the cause of it,
Exclaimed: Father eat thou of us, and stay
Our suffering: thou didst our being dress
In this sad flesh; now strip it all away.