Seven deadly sins

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Summary of beliefs about the seven deadly sins during the Medieval Period in preparation for reading and analyzing the general prologue of The Canterbury Tales

Summary of beliefs about the seven deadly sins during the Medieval Period in preparation for reading and analyzing the general prologue of The Canterbury Tales

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  • Sidenot: Limbo is no longer recognized by the RCC. According to the pope it was never an official doctrine to begin with, so they have simply clarified that it doesn’t exist

Transcript

  • 1. Seven Deadly Sins
    • Outlined in “Parson’s Tale”
  • 2. Great Chain of Being
    • Hierarchy of all things.
    • Your place in the chain determines your distance from God.
    • Within each level, there are further breakdowns
      • King  lords  knights  peasants (freemen  serfs)
      • Men  women  male children  female children
      • Horses above Dogs
      • Pure breeds above half breeds
    • Not entirely lineal—religious ranks paralleled secular ranks in many ways
    • Trying to change your place upsets the chain
    • Idea: if everyone stays in his or her place, life will be perfect
  • 3. THEREFORE…
    • Sin causes all hardship including illness, war, strife, natural disasters because sin upsets the natural order of everything
  • 4. PRIDE
    • root of all others
    • Internal—believing you are better than someone else
      • Leads to disobedience, boasting, hypocrisy, disdain, arrogance, etc.
    • External—focus on appearance that draws attention to oneself
  • 5. PRIDE
    • Remedy: humility
    • Punishment in Hell: Broken on the rack
  • 6. WRATH
    • Sudden—springs up without reasoning
    • Deadly—arises from long consideration and intent to harm
  • 7. WRATH
    • Leads to murder, hate, war
    • Related to swearing, lying, flattery, scorn
    • Remedy—meekness and patience
    • Punishment in Hell: Dismembered alive
  • 8. SLOTH
    • indifference to or negligence of spiritual or earthly duty
    • belief that one has sinned too much to be forgiven (lack of faith)
  • 9. SLOTH
    • Remedy: undertake difficult tasks; faith and hope
    • Punishment in Hell: thrown in snake pits
  • 10. GREED
    • Avarice—hoarding things one does not need, keeping things from others
    • Covetousness—desire for things one does not have
    • Leads to lying, theft, false oaths
    • Equated with worship of idols
  • 11. GREED
    • Remedy: mercy, pity
    • Punishment in Hell: Cauldrons of boiling oil
  • 12. GLUTTONY
    • Overindulging in food or drink
    • Being overly particular about food or spending too much time on its preparation
  • 13. GLUTTONY
    • Remedy: abstinence from food/drink
    • Punishment in Hell: forced to eat rats, toads, snakes
  • 14. LECHERY (lust)
    • Sexual desire beyond the purpose of procreation within marriage
    • Particularly undesirable in women
    • Eve deceived Adam--therefore all women were seen as lecherous and deceitful
  • 15. LECHERY (lust)
    • Remedy: chastity
    • Punishment in Hell: smothered in fire and Brimstone
  • 16. ENVY
    • jealousy over another’s success
    • or joy in another’s harm
    • Symbol: Green
  • 17. ENVY
    • Remedy: love
    • Punishment in Hell: put in freezing water
  • 18. Christian Beliefs
    • Repentance required reparation of sins
      • making up for the sin through charitable deeds, prayers, vigils, fasting, virtuous teaching
      • increasingly became a monetary-dispensations/indulgences
    • Limbo: for righteous non-christians and unbaptized babies (no longer recognized by RCC)
    • Purgatory: If people die with sins on their soul, they must be “purged” of their sins here
    • Hell: for unrepentant sinners