Coming from marginally the same Dantean background as Venus, I would like to
throw in at least a plug nickel here.
Francesca and Paolo _are_ in torment because they are constantly reminded of
their sin. This is how Dante would've viewed things. I think, however, more
subtextually, that P und F are in torment because they must constantly READ
each other -- without mediation. Their kiss could just be an innocent game
to them because they had their "panderer," namely, the story of Launcelot &
Guenever. When they themselves broke their mediation, their lives were taken
from them. The immediacy of being bound together in hell is a vivid and
deliciously ironic punishment for the sin.
Up too late,
p.s. my Brittany pup T. S. Eliot barks a hello