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The Seven Deadly Sins in Literature

Lust

Les Liaisons dangereuses

The Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont are among the lustiest villains in literature — deviants who use sex as a weapon in their clotted, twisted schemes. Like many of these kinds of stories, it ends with true love snatched away, a mortal wound, and a face full of smallpox.

Romeo & Juliet

Ah, yes, the most tragic teenage love story in history. About four days after they meet, these two 14 year olds kill themselves rather than face the prospect of living without the other. Yes kiddies, we know it feels that way now, but wait until you see the new boy in your math class.

Lolita

It’s slightly indelicate to call Humbert Humbert’s feelings for Lolita “lust,” but then, his feelings themselves are somewhat indelicate. In any event, Hum’s burning desire for sweet Lo ends in multiple deaths — indeed, if the fictional “Foreword” can be believed, the deaths of just about everybody in the story.

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