Seven Deadly Sins, The

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Richard Tarlton (>1588)

Historical Records

Harvey-Nashe exchange

existence of the Plot of the second part of The Seven Deady Sins

Theatrical Provenance

Harvey said that he thought he had seen the play in London. Since Tarlton was buried on 3 September 1588, the play must have been written by then. Tarlton had a career with Sussex's players before he joined the Queen's company in March 1583. It is possible that The Seven Deadly Sins was written before 1583, but its resonance for Harvey and Nashe in 1592 makes a guess of post-1583 more attractive.

Probable Genre(s)

Moral playlets

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

None known, unless the playlets of "Envy," "Sloth," and "Lechery" in the Plot of The Second Part of The Seven Deadly Sins represent three-sevenths of the original play.

References to the Play

The Harvey and Nashe exchange more properly goes here than in "Historical Records." However, with these references the only evidence about the play (unless a Plot of three-sevenths of it survives), it was thought appropriate to elevate the Harvey-Nashe exchange to the level of documentary evidence.

Critical Commentary


For What It's Worth

For the fullest picture of the argumentative network concerning The Seven Deadly Sins, consult also the entries for the Plot of the Second Part of The Seven Deadly Sins, Three Plays in One, Four Plays in One, Five Plays in One (Queen's, 1585), and Five Plays in One (Admiral's, 1597).

Works Cited


Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 24 March 2012.