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Canterbury Tales The Four Humours And The Seven Deadly Sins Mrs. Kinney
The Four Humours • A theory of physiology in which the state of health—and by extension the state of mind, or character---depended upon a balance among the four elemental fluids: blood, yellow bile, phlegm and black bile. These were closely allied with the four elements: air, fire, water and earth. The four humours gave off vapors ascended to the brain; an individual’s personal characteristics (physical, mental and moral) were explained by his or her “temperament,” or the state of the person’s “humours.”
Seven Deadly Sins • Allegory: a tale in verse or prose in which characters, actions, or settings represent abstract ideas or moral qualities • In the Medieval period, the seven deadly sins were often personified in literature.
Pride • Arrogance, impudence and boasting. The remedy is humility.
Envy • Sorrow for what others have. The remedy is to love God.
Wrath • Anger; wicked will for vengeance. The remedy is patience.
Sloth • Laziness, unproductive. The remedy is fortitude.
Avarice • Greed, a lecherous desire for earthly things. The remedy is mercy.
Gluttony • An immeasurable appetite to eat or drink. The remedy is abstinence.
Lust • Uncontrolled desire for material and carnal things. The remedy is chastity.