Dante and Virgil walk through the landscape of smoking tombs. Suddenly a voice calls out to them from amid the flames. It is a family member of Dante’s political enemies, Farinata. In mockery of the resurrection, Farinata rises halfway out of the tomb and begins to belittle Dante’s family fortunes.
Farinata also reveals to Dante that those in Hell can remember the past, know something of the future, yet do not know the present. Consequently, as the end of time approaches and there is no past or future, these damned souls will only experience eternal pain in the present.