Circle Number 5
Boss Phlegyas
Creatures All from Previous Circles
Locations The River Styx
City of Dis
Host Filippo Argenti
Prev. Circle Greed
Next Circle Heresy
“See the souls over whom anger prevailed. In the warm bath of the sun they were hateful, down here in the black sludge of the river Styx do they wish they had never been born.” — Virgil

Anger (also known as Wrath) is the fifth Circle of Hell.


Dante continued to search for Beatrice in the fifth circle and confronted the boatman named Phlegyas who was a giant and flaming demon who Dante unknowingly rode across the River Styx - a toxic marsh which eternally drowned those who are overcome with rage while they are alive. Those who showed or expressed anger (The wrathful) attacked each other on the swamp's showed while those who repressed anger (The sullen) eternally drowned beneath the marsh.

Overcome with fury at Dante's actions, Beatrice finally accepted Lucifer's offer to become his queen with Dante helpless to stop her. Escaping from the subsequent rage of the massive Phlegyas when he tried to continue his quest, Dante rode atop the ferryman into the City of Dis that was guarded by the powerful Fallen Angels to the lower circles.

Areas of the Circle[]

  • Phlegyas: "Behold the Power of Phlegyas, Guardian of the River Styx. Only he may grant passage across the swamp to the city of darkness and the circles below."
  • The River Styx: "The Styx, a toxic marsh. Those awash with anger drowned again and again, choking on their own venom."
  • The City of Dis: "The City of Dis held Hell's deepest secrets and the worst violent and treacherous sinners. The fallen angels guarded it's walls and flaunted his kingdom."

Dante's Journal[]

  • In "Inferno", Dante encounters Filippo Argenti, a personal enemy of his. When it comes to the City of Dis, Dante encounters the Fallen Angels. Virgil also mentioned to Dante on how the witch named Erichtho sent him down to the lowest circle of Hell to bring a spirit back from there.


  • In mythology, the river Styx ("Hateful") was not a swamp, but a river of the Underworld, inhabited by nymphs. The river was named after one such nymph, Styx who save Zeus's life during the Titanomachy. In gratitude to her, Zeus decreed the river Styx sacred and any who made a vow on that river was to keep that vow at all costs. Breaking a vow that was made on the river Styx would result in death for the mortal beings and prolonged incapacitation for a god. Furthermore, as it was shown in the myth of Achilles, a human who was bathed in the waters of the Styx became physically impermeable to weapons.
  • Anger is derived from the Latin word Ira and is defined as uncontrollable rage to the point of wishing or actually inflicting harm to others. It is categorized as a Deadly Sin due to the fact that, if unchecked, Anger can lead to the physical and emotional injury or death of others and possibly the sinner as well. In addition, in a rage, people often could not distinguish friend from foe and may strike out unjustly at anyone within their reach. The corresponding Heavenly Virtue which was the opposite to Anger was Patience (Patientia).
  • According to Dante, Anger was a righteous desire for Justice perverted into an obsessive rage for immediate, extreme action against both the innocent and the guilty. Since it is not a sin derived from Divine Love such as Lust, Gluttony and Greed, it is placed below these sins.
  • In the Divine Comedy, sunken beneath the Stygian waters were not the Sullen, but the Slothful. This was the only circle designated to two of the Seven Deadly Sins rather than one.
  • Unlike the Sullen, Slothfulness is not related to repressed anger. The Deadly Sin of Sloth (Acedia in Latin) is a lack of care or indifference towards others and life in general to the point of seeing only negativity in the world. This is considered a Deadly Sin as the sinner fails to see or care about the goodness that God placed in the world around them. As such, in Hell, they are sunken under the marsh water because they could not see the point of trying to rise above the surface and save themselves from drowning. The corresponding Heavenly Virtue which was the opposite to Sloth was Diligence (Industria).
  • Slothfulness, in Dante's view, is in direct opposition to the sins that are derived from Divine Love. His works considered Sloth to be derived from a lack of Divine Love for the world that God made which places it below the sins of Lust, Gluttony and Greed. It also functions as a boundary point between the circles of Hell that are associated with corrupted love and the remaining circles dealing with deliberate and loveless malice.
  • This is the final circle of Hell to be associated with the Seven Deadly Sins.


Nine Circles of Hell
Limbo ·  Lust ·  Gluttony ·  Greed ·  Anger ·  Heresy ·  Violence ·  Fraud ·  Treachery