Circle Five

While Dante and Virgil are standing at the edge of the river Styx, Phlegyas arrives in a rage, but Virgil calms him and the Poets ride through the river in his boat. In this river of muck and slime, the wrathful and sullen are being punished. Here, they attack one another in every way possible, ripping one another limb from limb. As the Poets travel, a soul calls out to Dante, but Dante shows no pity, receiving approval from Virgil for having overcome the urge to feel compassion for the sinners. The soul is then torn at by other souls as they chase after him, calling him by name, Filippo Argenti. Dante shoves the soul away and looks on as they approach the city of Dis. The fallen angels then demand why a living man is present, so Virgil leaves him to in an attempt to explain the situation. However, the fallen angels close the gates and do not allow Dante and Virgil into the city. Both Virgil and Dante are disappointed, but Virgil is determined to persevere in awaiting the arrival of the Great One who will open the gate.
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Characters: Why are they in Hell? The Wrathful and the Sullen: The wrathful openly expressed their anger during life and now are being punished as they ruthlessly attack one another, while the sullen supressed their anger and are punished stuck beneath the filth.
Phlegyas: the ill-tempered Boatman of Styx. Phlegyas lashed out against the god Apollo for raping his daughter; however, Phlegyas' own father was the god Mars and is therefore in hell for outwardly showing his anger against the gods.

Filippo Argenti: Argenti was a vengeful black Guelph politician, therefore forever condemned to hell with the wrathful. Dante also has a particular hatred for Argenti because Filippo once slapped Dante across the face. Also, Argenti’s brother took Dante’s possessions after his exile from Florence. Argenti gets his nickname from his silver-clad horse.

Rebellious Angels: These angels are here because they joined Lucifer in his rebellion against God. Now, they are forever transformed into evil guards of the city of Dis.

Interesting Facts
In the video game of Dante's inferno, Dante is attacked by Phlegyas (who is presented as a rock monster) but defeats him and proceeds to gain control of him and use his power to break through the gates of Dis.


A heavy metal band called Decadence has a song called Wrathful and Sullen. The lyrics are mediocre, but the music is superb. Listen for yourself.

At the King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England, the Fall of the Rebellious Angels is depicted in a series of stained-glass windows made in the 16th century.

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