In the second circle of Hell are those overcome by lust. Dante condemns these "carnal malefactors" for letting their appetites sway their reason. They are the first ones to be truly punished in Hell. These souls are blown back and forth by the terrible winds of a violent storm, without rest. This symbolizes the power of lust to blow one about needlessly and aimlessly. In this circle, Dante sees Semiramis, Dido, Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Achilles, Paris, Tristan, and many others who were overcome by sensual love during their life. Dante is told by Francesca da Rimini how she and her husband's brother Paolo Malatesta committed adultery, but then died a violent death, in the name of Love, at the hands of her husband, Giovanni (Gianciotto). Francesca reports that their act of adultery was triggered by reading the adulterous story of Lancelot and Guinevere (an episode sculpted by Auguste Rodin in The Kiss). Nevertheless, she predicts that her husband will be punished for his fratricide in Caina, within the ninth circle (Canto V). The English poet John Keats, in his sonnet "On a Dream," imagines what Dante does not give us, the point of view of Paolo: ... But to that second circle of sad hell, Where ‘mid the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell Their sorrows. Pale were the sweet lips I saw, Pale were the lips I kiss’d, and fair the form I floated with, about that melancholy storm.
Taken from Dante's Inferno on Wikipedia