That got me wondering about exactly which subdivision hypocrites do occupy in Hell. I went for an answer to Dante's Inferno, and with the help of fellow blogger, Michael Gilleland, found what I was looking for in Canto 23, lines 58 ff. (tr. Charles S. Singleton):
The hypocrites live in the eighth circle of Hell, known as Malebolge, in ditch number six. apparently it's not "the biggest section in the whole realm," since Dante's Hell is funnel-shaped, and the eighth (or next to last) circle is therefore narrower than the ones above it. It may not
There below we found a painted people who were going round with very slow steps, weeping and looking weary and overcome. They had cloaks with cowls down over their eyes, of the cut that is made for the monks of Cluny, so gilded outside that they were dazzling, but within all lead and so heavy that those Frederick imposed were of straw. O toilsome mantle of eternity!
be a large area but it’s terribly deep down in hell!
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23.27).
See biblical references to hypocrite from the ESV Bible online here.