From Hope to Despair: The Seven Deadly Sins in Medieval and Modern Society

Charlotte Clutterbuck


Sin cannot be eradicated in this life. Take William Langland's description of Gluttony, who goes past the brew house on his way to confession:

And whither he would go the brew-wife asked him.
'To holy church,' quoth he, 'for to hear mass,
And then sit and be shriven, and sin no more.'

Today I will concentrate on three medieval texts - Dante's Purgatorio, Chaucer's Parson's Tale, and Langland's Piers Plowman - and one modern one - the 1992 ABC TV Dramas - and discuss what the comparison reveals about modern society.

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