“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice” Robert Frost, Fire and Ice lines 1-2. Fire and ice are both described as punishments of hell but many descriptions in the Bible state that Hell is “the fiery lake” Revelations 21:8, “eternal fire” Matthew 25:41, and “furnace of fire” Matthew 13: 41-42. In Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, Dante describes Hell as fire until the very center of Hell, where he then describes Hell as ice. However both fire and ice are appropriate punishments for going against the words of God, and it is implemented nicely in Alighieri's The Divine Comedy.
With fire, people are being actively punished with no mercy, and if a person goes against the teachings of God, then that person does not deserve mercy. In Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, the punishment for going against the Church in Circle Six is burning in a fiery tomb. These people were once involved in the Church, and as the words of Matthew 13:42, “They will throw them into the blazing furnace”. The punishment for Simonists (people that sold pardons to forgive people of their sins) is being hung upside down with their feet on fire. Many of the punishments for directly going against the words of God without actively hurting people involve fire in one way or another, which is appropriate because fire attacks without mercy, and one cannot get used to the fury that comes with fire.
Being frozen in ice is a slower punishment because it makes a person think about all the terrible things they have done in their lifetime. The only thing that someone could do while being frozen is think, so their eternal torment is thinking about how they could have avoided this fate, while being able to do nothing about it. In Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, only traitors to their homelands, murderer’s of family, murderer’s of dependents, and traitors to benefactors were frozen, as these people are the only ones that cannot have the “eye for an eye” treatment that is seen throughout the rest of the story. It is fit for the people that have done the worst things to just have to be forced to think of what has been done. Even Satan himself is forced to think about how he could have ruled the universe if he had not lost the War of Heaven to God because he is frozen to his waist, and the force of him trying to escape is what makes the pits of Hell so cold.
Overall, it can be seen that both fire and ice are appropriate punishments, and it is implemented in Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy very nicely. “Into the eternal darkness, into fire and into ice ”