"Fraud, wherewithal is every conscience stung"

(Canto 11, line 52)

It is not entirely clear why every conscience is stung with fraud, but commentators have often interpreted it to mean that acts of fraud cannot be engaged in without an element of reason, which necessarily entails the knowledge that the act is sinful. In contrast, acts of violence can sometimes occur when reason has been clouded and therefore do not necessarily affect the conscience while they are being carried out.