| Quote #4
[Virgil to Dante]: "But fix your eyes below, upon the valley,
Because Dante ultimately sees violence as a distortion of nature, the landscapes of the Seventh Circle feature some twisted aspects of nature. Here, the boiling river that tortures the tyrants does not flow with water, but with blood. Thus, the violent are punished by natural forces which have been fundamentally perverted.
| Quote #5
No green leaves in that forest, only black;
In the ring where the suicides reside, not even nature’s growing flora can flourish. Here, trees and plants that normally sprout in healthy shades of green rot to black and do not sprout nourishing fruits, but poisoned thorns. The reference to the living "beasts" between "Cecina and Corneto" implies that even these savage creatures could not survive in such a place. Nature decrees that nothing can live and grow in a place where men have taken their own lives.
| Quote #6
Above that plain of sand, distended flakes
The environment designed for punishing blasphemers perverts nature by raining fire, instead of snowflakes, to the ground. So instead of bringing relief to the sandy desert and allowing things to grow, the fiery rain increases the heat, making it eternally uncomfortable for the sinners trapped there.