The Three Deadly Sins

A look at the representation of three deadly sins in the works of Christopher Marlowe and Edmund Spenser.

The paper compares and contrasts the representations of the deadly sins of pride, envy and gluttony made by Edmund Spenser in his poem “The Faerie Queene” and Christopher Marlowe in his play “Dr. Faustus”. The paper examines how these sins are reflected through the actions of the protagonists in the texts.
“The very different portrayals of the Seven Deadly Sins in Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene arises from the moral concerns of each of the two text in which they are presented. Marlowe, wishing to emphasize how people tend to view sin lightly and fail to realize its consequence, shows how Lucifer deliberately makes the Sins seem attractive and entertaining in order to mislead people. Spenser’s concern lies with the way in which sin lures people by tempting them with the seeming reward of material gain. He fulfills these expectations in his personification of the Sins, showing them surrounded by ostentatious riches, but in such a way as to deride the shallowness and emptiness of ill-gotten wealth.”