Essay on Chaucer and the Seven Deadly Sins

723 Words Aug 1st, 2011 3 Pages
Shayne White

Chaucer and the Seven Deadly Sins

In the catholic religion the seven deadly sins: envy, pride, lust, anger, sloth, greed, and gluttony are themes that Catholics should stay away from and not abide to. In the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer the tales expose a common, universal truth which is the seven deadly sins. In the Tales the characters in the stories struggle with the temptation of not obeying the sins which incorporates and suggest why the pilgrims telling the stories are in fact on the pilgrimage.
The pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales are on a pilgrimage to Canterbury to seek spiritual renewal for the sin or sins that they have committed. In the prologue of the Tales it writes, “People long to go on
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Also, in the Knight’s Tale Theseus fills with anger towards King Creon as he slays the husbands of the women he sees while walking around the outskirts of town and he plans that, “So far as it should lie within his might, /He would take vengeance on his tyrant King/ This Creon, till the land of Greece should ring/ With how he had encountered him and served/ The monster with the death he had deserved” (Chaucer 29). Here Theseus commits the sin of anger and plans to take vengeance against Creon by killing him. Chaucer portrays that the characters in the stories commit the sins involuntarily and do it out of high emotions.
In The Mercantile Ideology in Chaucer’s Shipman’s Tale written by Helen Fulton she explains the ideology of the merchant by incorporating the work and how the merchants conduct their business. She writes that, “The wealthier merchants developed a unifying ideology based on the trade and the financial practices of his occupation. She also mentions that, “other critics, working within on older ideology of business ethics, condemn the merchant for practicing ‘bad business’” (Fulton 311). Fulton then goes on to say that, “Janette Richardson [the other critic] reads the tale as a straight opposition between spiritual goodness and the evils of materialism”. And that the merchant, “has blindly accepted a worldly standard of values in place of spiritual truth; and… he is therefore doomed” (Fulton 313).
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