In What Dreams May Come, Robin Williams' character Chris Nielsen travels through Hell. They show some of the nine circles of Hell as depicted in Dante's Inferno (Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and Treachery), but I don't believe they show all of them. Which circles are shown, and at what points in the movie do we see each?

  • 4
    Whether or not they show "all of them" depends entirely on which layers you think exist, or whether you believe Hell even exists at all. The theology of that film doesn't correspond to any official theological doctrine that I'm aware of, so it will be impossible to answer it based on anything other than the film itself. And I don't recall that film describing Hell in "layers", so the answer is probably "No." Although, I must admit it's been a while since I've seen it.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


*Spoiler Alert*

We do not see all of the levels of hell from Dante's inferno. Missing are the eighth and nineth cicrles. In the movie Annabella commits suicide which places her in the 7th circle of hell. All levels up to the 7th circle are accounted for, but they are out of order at times.

Listed in order from the Divine comedy, not the movie order:

  1. The Gate of Hell
    • 1:05-The Tracker says they are at the Gateway to hell, but it does not match Dante's description.
  2. First Circle (Limbo)
    • 1:01-Most likely the library they are floating through on the boat symbolizes limbo. Limbo had such famous thinkers as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. This happens right after they leave heaven.
  3. Second Circle (Lust)
    • 1:01:20-After the boat floats out of the library into the water we see souls being buffeted by the wind.
  4. Third Circle (Gluttony)
    • 1:06-Albert Lewis notices a ship named 'Cerberus' which is the guardian of the gluttons
    • 1:16-Albert Lewis has left the group as we find out it is actually the character 'Ian'. The Tracker and Chris Nielsen take a lift up and find bodies buried in the mud up to the neck.
  5. Fourth Circle (Greed)
    • 1:09-We see the denzins of hell using weapons and some sword play shortly before this.
  6. Fifth Circle (Anger)
    • 1:02-This circle is supposed to be the river styx, the group is in the boat floating on some body of water. The tortured souls in the water pull them in.
  7. Sixth Circle (Heresy)
    • 1:18:31-As we see Chris falling deeper into hell, we glimpse the sixth circle. Indicated by the flaming tomb in the background on the right hand side.
  8. Seventh Circle (Violence)
    • 1:20-Chris sees their house. Since Annabella is a suicide we know she's in the seventh circle.
  9. Eighth Circle (Fraud)
    • We don't make it to this circle
  10. Ninth Circle (Treachery)
    • We don't make it to this circle


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