This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Religious Themes Of The Sixteenth Century: The Seven Deadly Sins, Death, And Damnation

3183 words - 13 pages

Religious Themes of the Sixteenth Century: The Seven Deadly Sins, Death, and Damnation

Religion in the Sixteenth Century was a major point of contention, especially for Elizabethans. In the midst of the Reformation, England was home to supporters of two major religious doctrines, including the Catholics and the Puritans. Three dominant themes that came out of this debate were sin, death and damnation. Important elements of Christian religions, these themes were often explored in the form of the seven deadly sins and the consequential damnation. The elements of sin pervasive in Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, William Shakespeare’s Othello, and Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen allow for an investigation into the relationship of death and damnation in the sixteenth century.

To begin our investigation, we must consider the definition of ‘sin’ in a sixteenth century context, which would be in the form of the seven deadly sins. These seven sins were called the ‘deadly’ or ‘capital’ sins because they ‘merited damnation and had a fatal effect on an individual’s spiritual health.’[1] Listed, the seven deadly sins are pride, covetousness, wrath, envy, gluttony, sloth (idleness), and lechery (lust), and they were described and personified in masque scenes in both The Faerie Queene and Doctor Faustus, as well as being embraced by various characters in The Unfortunate Traveller, Othello, and Doctor Faustus.

Following the order described in The Faerie Queene, the first sin is idleness, or sloth. Idleness is described as ‘the nourse of sin,’ the founder and beginning of all sin.[2] Personified as individuals in a procession, Spenser also says ‘May seeme the wayne was very evill ledd, / When such an one had guiding of the way, / That knew not whether right he went, or else astray.’[3] In this second quote the idea of idleness leading to sin is re-emphasized, and the word ‘right’ referring to both a correct path to lead a group on as well as a righteous choice or decision. We see idleness being the root of evil in Doctor Faustus, when he says of his studies ‘a greater subject fitteth Faustus’ wit,’ implying that he has already learned everything in the books surrounding him and is ready for something more.[4] It is immediately after this soliloquy that Faustus summons Valdes and Cornelius and begins his journey towards the necromancy and the devil. In Doctor Faustus, Sloth, as he describes himself, was ‘begotten on a sunny bank, where I have lain ever since,’ and in The Faerie Queene he is described as being ‘still drownd in sleepe, and most of his daies / scarse could he once uphold his heavie hedd, / to looken whether it was night or day.’[5] The similarities between these two descriptions show that Spenser and Marlowe were using a cultural prescription of the personification of the sins when they wrote them into their work.

The second sin described in The Faerie Queene is gluttony, or...

Find Another Essay On Religious Themes of the Sixteenth Century: The Seven Deadly Sins, Death, and Damnation

Seven deadly sins of meetings Essay

948 words - 4 pages resolved are also to follow. Fast Company published the “Seven Deadly Sins of Meetings” in 1996, in an attempt to steer those in leadership positions into the right direction (Murphy, 2013). Of the seven deadly sins of meetings, referral to meetings being too long, and presenters going off topic are not uncommon. Employees who are bored will often times become uninterested in the topic as a whole, and lose. Since this book was written nearly two

Seven Deadly Sins Essay

2545 words - 11 pages L Lust. The inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. You hate it and yet you need it. Over the years, women – even men – have thrown themselves at you and chased after you. You have never picked just one, merely choosing to play with all of their hearts before moving on when they become boring, which they always do. You know should choose one and let the others go. Instead, you have all of them just because you can, and because you lust

A Discussion of the Seven Deadly Sins as found in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

1708 words - 7 pages most southern landowners still "owned" slaves. Huck Finn is a novel that incorporates the struggles of a young boy, Huck Finn, with that of a cruel, careless world, on his travel down the Mississippi River in attempt at finding his own identity. In this essay, I will present textual evidence that proves that the Seven Deadly Sins are directly associated with the types of evil in the novel, making Huck's world one of violence, terror, and death

Removing Tomorrow From The Schedule and The Seven Deadly Sins (2 poems)

563 words - 2 pages my ankles; freeze the clock handsin place- today must be forever)The 7 Deadly SinsA fallen mans tendency, has now become to sin,Unleashing utter misery, from the soul deep within.Creating a harmful threat, of eternal damnation,Once unleashed on the world there will be no salvation,For when a sin is committed, life will fall from grace,These seven deadly sins, bring terror with a trace.Lust causes an obsession, on sexual thoughts and desire,To

The Seven Deadly Sins A Film Review of "Se7en" Written by Alison Friedt

909 words - 4 pages "Sin creates [an inclination] to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root."Para. 1865, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994Gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, wrath, pride, and lust; these are the seven deadly sins that

The Seven Deadly Sins in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chauscer

744 words - 3 pages Gluttony, Avarice, Wrath, Lust, Pride, Envy, and Sloth are all commonly known as the “Seven Deadly Sins”. Each of these seven sins plays a major role in development of the different characters. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”, the Pardoner committed sins through gluttony and avarice; the Wife of Bath through Pride and Lust; and also the Monk through gluttony and wrath. However, omnipresent on all the characters are the different

Birth and Survival of the Anabaptists in the Sixteenth-Century

1890 words - 8 pages Throughout the sixteenth-century, the Church experienced a split within the belief system. After the Protestant reformation, beginning in 1517, some Protestants were still not content with all of the rules and doctrines that were set by the Catholic Church. As a result, some continued the reformation, going further than Luther, Calvin and others had begun. In 1525, a group separated themselves and became known as the Anabaptists. The

Changes in the Role of Women Between the Sixteenth and the Twentieth Century

1411 words - 6 pages Over long periods of time change is often inevitable. One such instance of change throughout history is that of family members and their role in not only the family, but also in society as a whole. Although changes can be seen in the roles of every family member, it can be argued that the role of women in the family, especially that of mothers, changed the most. Between the sixteenth century and the twentieth century, the role that mothers

The 7 Deadly Sins in Management

642 words - 3 pages People are born with the seven deadly sins; pride, lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, anger and greed. There is a dark side in everyone just waiting to be explored. I am sure that somewhere in our lifetime we will or already have encountered these deadly sins. When this time comes it would be very hard for us to fight the temptation. There have been cases of laziness, pleasure-seeker, immoral, and good-for-nothing persons. But for ages, human race

The Vampire Lestat and the Problem of Eternal Damnation

4991 words - 20 pages sin', will some day seem no more important to us than the toys and pains of childhood seem to an old man. (Nietzsche, 1998: 51) In other words we will look back on our past sins without any connection to God or should we say Hell and eternal damnation? Christianity was not gaining any new followers, as Nietzsche believed. It would appear toward the end of Memnoch the Devil that God and the Devil know this to be true. Lestat is given the

The Impact of Legislation on the Problem of Poverty in the Sixteenth Century

2704 words - 11 pages The Impact of Legislation on the Problem of Poverty in the Sixteenth Century The legislation for poverty in the sixteenth century was affected by a concoction of factors. The most prominent ones being, the conducting of the legislation, the changes in belief, and attitude of the people and the economy. The impact of the legislation is so difficult to measure as there were a number of local schemes, which emerged at the

Similar Essays

The Seven Deadly Sins Essay

1563 words - 6 pages have the vigor to describe himself. As you may have noticed they are displayed as characters instead of overlying themes of the story. This was a common practice in olden English times. The Seven Deadly Sins always can be found in English work, its differences between pieces is dependent on how it is used and whether it is used in a negative or positive light. Since idea of the Sins (and probably even before) they were, and are, a key part

Greek Mythology And The Seven Deadly Sins

1355 words - 5 pages The seven deadly sins can be tracked all the way back to the 4th century. A monk named Evagrius Ponticus made a list of basically all the problems he saw in his time. His list consisted of gluttony, fornication, greed, pride, sadness, wrath, and dejection. Later on Pope Gregory I, would edit this list and add in sloth and envy, and would also rename fornication to lust, this list of sins has not been changed since. Each of the

Greek Mythology And The Seven Deadly Sins

1340 words - 5 pages The seven deadly sins can be tracked all the way back to the 4th century, when a monk named Evagrius Ponticus made a list of basically all the problems he saw in his time. His list consisted of gluttony, fornication, greed, pride, sadness, wrath, and dejection. Later on Pope Gregory I would edit this list and add in sloth and envy, and would also rename fornication to lust, this list of sins has not been changed since. Each of the

The Seven Deadly Sins Of The Scarlet Letter

2385 words - 10 pages Sin is something that received a lot of focus in the Puritan community; it determines who was sent to hell in the afterlife and who would ascend to heaven. In the Puritan’s time, even the smallest use of one of the seven deadly sins would repel them away from the peaceful afterlife of heaven. The book The Scarlet Letter is based on the focus of sin in a Puritan setting. As a result from Hester’s revealed sin, there are other characters in the