How many shoes do you need? How many buttons, Pokemon cards, books, action figures, stamps, Pez dispensers, cars, guns, records, DVDs, CDs, MP3s, etc., etc., etc. does one person need? These are the hoarders.
In this circle, Danté observes a lot of clerics who hoard the church's wealth . . . in fact it is the only class of people he mentions. He doesn't see (or discuss) moneylenders or bankers.
The inhabitants of circle four are so consumed by greed they are no longer recognizable.
There is a long speech about Fortune "who shifts those worthless goods, from time to time, from race to race, from one blood to another beyond intervention of human wit." Fortune can be seen as divine providence and she is to blame for all good and bad luck we encounter. The message: we should understand that we control our own fates and should not pin our hopes on stuff.
Besides rolling money bags around the avaricious will have their fists forever clamped to remind them of their grasping behavior, while the prodigal will have their hair cut off to remind them of their lack of care for their possessions.
How about you? Ever lash out at anybody? Have a younger sibling that makes you want to throw shoes? Have you ever been in charge of people and lorded it over them by lashing out? Get angry at your significant other just because you had a bad day?
One thing to notice is that Danté doesn't stop to chat with any of these people and he seems to have quit making excuses for every shade he encounters.
Canto VIII - Circle Five: Anger
The shade is that of Filippo Argenti, a Black Guelph, (remember Danté was a White Guelph), whose brother got much of Danté's property when he was banished from Florence. In fact, Danté "would be most eager to see him pushed deep down into this soup" and rejoiced when as he watched Argenti torn to pieces by the "muddy crew."
Has Danté learned to quit falling for the stories of these shades, or is this a simple case of vengeance? Whatever the answer, Virgil is pleased by Danté's reaction and praises him because Argenti did "not one good deed."
Remember, Danté's Hell is broken down into three sections; one reserved for the incontinent (no self control), another for the violent, and the lowest level contains those committing fraud. We are leaving the incontinent circles and entering the circles reserved for those who committed violence.
Virgil tells Danté to wait while he handles the rebel angels, but they deny him entrance. Virgil is stumped.
Canto IX - From Dis to Circle Six: Heresy
Virgil is confused. He has been bested by the rebel angels, but he has to win. It's ordained.
The angel is filled with disdain "Why do you kick against the will which never can be severed from its purpose?" In other words, don't argue against heaven.
He opens the gate of Dis and Virgil and Danté enter where Danté sees "graves [that] were strewn with flames that made them glow with heat hotter than iron is before it's worked." This is the entrance to Circle Six.
Danté asks who are these forever burning in their graves?
"The arch-heretics of every sect," responds Virgil and we'll meet them next time.
How do you think Danté's Inferno can help post modern people live a better life?
After studying Cantos I to IX what do you think has the most relevance for today's world?
Have you seen yourself yet?