Seven Deadly Sins: Personification

Topics: Seven deadly sins, Gluttony, Lust Pages: 4 (1256 words) Published: April 8, 2011
The Seven Deadly Sins: How Deadly Can They Be
The Seven Deadly Sins is a major aspect to the religion of Christianity. Religion in the Middle Ages was exceedingly important and the central character to the lives of the people living in this time era. In early fourteenth century, Robert Manning of Brunne wrote a poem of an educational text informing people to avoid the seven deadly sins. Sometime later, in the late 1500s, Edmund Spenser wrote a book entitled The Faerie Queene and in Book 1, Canto 4, Spenser discusses the Seven Deadly Sins as the two characters, Redcrosse and Duessa, embark on their journey to the sinful House of Pride. Spenser has a unique way of which he alters to readers an artful conception of such a broad aspect as based on this common literary and religious motif.

Spenser personifies the seven deadly sins as people who are riding on corresponding animals that relate to the human species. Personifying and characterizing The Seven Deadly Sins as actual persons with human traits is an image that Spenser chose to create. Spenser may be one of the few writers to ever take on a challenge such as this. To be able to take something as so religious and common and turn it into a person-like form requires much inventiveness and initiative.

Spenser depicts each of the seven deadly sins, one as a queen and the other six are her unequal beasts, or counselors. Each of these seven sins holds importance to the book as well as holding true to the common form of literary and religious themes. Spenser takes each of these Seven Deadly Sins, Pride, Idleness, Gluttony, Lechery, Avarice, Envy and Wrath and turns them around into human-like forms. He gives them characteristics and lets their actions speak for their name and who they are. Such as Idleness being drowned in his sleep, Gluttony swallowing up the feast, Lechery longing for the lady he did not have, Avarice carrying gold and two iron coffers and so on.

The first of the seven deadly...

Cited: Spenser, Edmund. “The Faerie Queene, Book 1, Canto 4.” The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Vol A. Broadview Press. 2007. 597-603. Print.
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