Study Guide

Easter Wings Sin

By George Herbert

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We know Herbert never misses a shot at a good paradox, and sin is no exception. But is there anything contradictory about sin? Isn't it just purely, through-and-through bad? Wait just a second. As it's portrayed in "Easter Wings," sin is a complex and multidimensional beast, responsible for humankind's greatest sorrow as well as its greatest promise. Why? Because, according to Herbert, sin allows the speaker to repent and share this Easter with Christ in rising out of a pretty grim world.

Questions About Sin

  1. According to Herbert, is original sin different than individual sin? Are they different to God?
  2. In the poem, what is the relationship between sin and wellbeing, both material and physical?
  3. How does God punish sin, according to the poem?
  4. What does sin have to do with Easter for our speaker?

Chew on This

Sin is a doubled-edged sword in "Easter Wings": it's both good and bad, unavoidable and repentable.

In "Easter Wings" sin is inversely correlated with wellbeing: as sin goes up, health and happiness go down.

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