What Are the Symbols Associated With the Seven Deadly Sins?

It is usual to refer to envy, desire, greed, anger, sloth, and gluttony as the seven deadly sins. However, what you may not realise is that they do not stem from the Bible. In truth, they were constructed by the Greek monk Evagrius Ponticus thousands of years ago. Later, one of his students introduced them to the Christian church, which in turn propagated our now-traditional view of the sins and the belief that committing one of these crimes would result in one’s soul’s death.

7 Deadly Sins Explanations

Here, we will examine each of the seven deadly sins in greater depth by unravelling their meanings, origins, and folklore, popular culture, and other literary examples.

The Symbolism of Jealousy

Envy is desiring or coveting something that others possess but you do not. Often, dogs and snakes, as well as the colour green, are connected with envy, hence the popular expression “you’re so green with envy.”

The story of Cain and Abel is one of the most well-known examples of envy. In the story, one of the brothers was cherished while the other was neglected. The brother who was overlooked became envious of his sibling’s success and ultimately murdered him.

| Symbolism & Meaning of Lust

When you are overcome with lust, you are committing the sin of lust. Cows and snakes are among the animals connected with lust, while the colour blue is commonly associated with the sin, as people are supposed to experience melancholy in its aftermath.

Lust can be found virtually everywhere; in fact, a character’s curiosity can frequently lead to lust. In certain interpretations of the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the forbidden fruit represents lust.

Covetousness: Symbolism & Meaning

Similar to jealousy, greed is desiring something one does not possess. The primary difference, however, is that greedy people actually obtain these goods, and as a result, greed is frequently associated with materialism and selfishness. The frog is the unofficial symbol of greed. Yellow is the hue most commonly associated with avarice due to its resemblance to gold.

Greed is a common motif in folk tales. You may recall the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, in which a greedy monarch locks up the miller’s daughter in order to amass ever more money. In addition, the Brothers Grimm frequently examined how avarice influenced the lives of individuals. In more modern storylines, Scrooge McDuck and Mr. Burns from The Simpsons are also caricatures of greed.

Symbolism & Meaning of Wrath

A lack of self-control causes rage, a powerful feeling that can escalate to violence. The bear represents rage, which is related with the colour red. Red and the bear both indicate passion, aggression, and rage, which is not surprising.

The Iliad by Homer is a wonderful literary example of rage. In the end, Achilles recognises what he has done and is stricken with immense guilt over what he has done. Achilles initially believed he was doing the right thing, but he eventually learned how many people he had harmed through his anger.

Laziness: Symbolism & Meaning

Sloth is commonly connected with inactivity, but it can also accompany procrastination. In other words, being willfully unproductive rather than doing things that are helpful for you is viewed as a sin by some Christians. You may anticipate that the animal symbol for the sin of sloth would be, well, a sloth. Actually, it is the goat. In addition, the colour associated with sloth is light blue, which is symbolic of daydreaming.

The Brothers Grimm’s popular folktale Lazy Heinz relates the story of a boy who never wanted to do anything and, as a result, never accomplished anything. Moreover, idleness is frequently represented as an unpleasant trait in popular culture.

Intemperance | Symbolism & Meaning

When one overindulges, they commit the sin of gluttony. Gluttony can also refer to the acquisition of an excessive number of material belongings or pleasure items. The animal most commonly linked with gluttony is the pig, and the colour associated with the vice is orange. Orange is commonly used in fast food restaurants because it is considered to promote appetite, which can lead to gluttony.

A frequent theme in many fairy tales, including Jack and the Beanstalk, is gluttony. Remember the ravenous monster? He symbolises gluttony. Hansel and Gretel is another example of gluttony, since the title characters cannot stop eating a sugar house. Of course, it turns out that the homeowner is a witch, and she intends to eat the children as a retribution for their gluttonous behaviour.

The Symbolism of Proudness

The sin of pride is related with inflated egos and inflated self-esteem. People who display an undue amount of pride frequently lack self-awareness. Included among the symbols of pride are the horse, lion, and peacock. In addition, the sin is symbolised by the colour purple, historically the colour of monarchy.

One of the most well-known stories in the Bible about pride is the angel Lucifer, who was allegedly overly obsessed with his appearance. According to some accounts, his hubris corrupted him over time, transforming him into Satan.


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