The Canterbury Tales: The Prologue

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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The seven deadly sins can be easily committed by anyone unknowingly. Ever since humans came on earth, they have been immoral, shiftless creatures trying to find the easiest way out. But for ages, mankind struggled to also find a solution to help our spiritual needs and guide it in the right path. Thus, the concept of the seven deadly sins arose: gluttony, lust, pride, wrath, sloth, jealousy, and greed. If one carries on with life without committing a deadly sin, while being good from the heart and not just from the mind and actions, he/she will avoid the eternal damnation of hell. The Canterbury Tales: The Prologue, by Geoffrey Chaucer, contains pilgrims going to Canterbury, in which some of these pilgrims commit deadly sins. In this prologue, the Wife of Bath is guilty of lust, Franklin is guilty of gluttony, and the Pardoner is guilty of greed.

The Wife of Bath committed the deadly sin of lust.

She shows her lusty attributes through her attire. She holds a whip and wears red stockings. Her whip shows her control, power, and domination over men. Her red stockings show her appealing lusty side and she also knows that red stockings are seductively appealing. Her clothes also suggest that she wears these types of clothes to impress men. "She'd had five husbands, all at the church door, /Apart from other company in youth" (470-471). This shows how much experience she has had with men, not only in marriage, but outside of marriage also. She has cheated the church by having past experiences and relations with men outside of marriage. Both of these details suggest that she likes sex. Although she is a woman of the church, she is still guilty of one of the seven sins.

Franklin committed the deadly sin of...