Drinking poison

That one fatal act leads to a domino effect of catastrophe as Sweeney Todd comes back with a vengeance. This thinking of Sweeney Todd is obviously fueled by his anger at Judge Turpin and eventually, to the people of London. This anger takes a tremendous toll on Sweeney Todd that not only does it cause the death of many people, but it also causes his death, and most unfortunately, it blinds him so much that he even unknowingly kills his own beloved wife. He is not only guilty of the sin of anger but of envy as well. If one is to analyze his motives, one may ask: Why does he have to include the people of London?

Why not just the Judge Turpin himself? This can be attributed to the fact that Sweeney Todd’s anger is also fueled by the envy that he feels for the world. There he is, all miserable and lonely, yet Judge Turpin has his daughter and all the streets of London are fine and dandy with their life. As what is further shown in Act I of the musical, when the ghosts of the musical were singing a rather omniscient view on the psychological state of Sweeney Todd, “He’d seen how civilized men behave/ He never forgot and he never forgave/ Not Sweeney…” (Sondheim et al., 2002, p. 43).

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Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd’s accomplice, is also guilty of two sins. The first, which is sloth, is more seen in the Act I of the musical when she and Sweeney Todd finally meet. Her meat shop, in its poor and dirty state, can only be attributed to her extreme laziness of not wanting to clean. This disgusting state, although not a sin which leads to her death, is actually a sin which contributed to it. She is also guilty of the deadly sin of pride as she lied to Sweeney that his wife is still alive and that she killed herself by drinking poison.

She is clearly coveted with the idea that she succeeded in driving Lucy away and even cunningly making Sweeney Todd as an alliance. Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett’s plan in killing people who go for a cut or shave and making them into meat pies is an obvious high regard for themselves as they think that they have the capability to kill and get away with it. Because of the production of the meat pies, the last remaining deadly sin is revealed—gluttony. When the people of London start eating pie after pie which contain the bodies of the people that Sweeney Todd and Mrs.

Lovett have killed, their disgusting demeanor is clearly shown. The people kept eating rather ravenously which exemplified their sin of being glutton. Thus, the seven deadly sins are made apparent in the play. Conclusion Even if the play focused on the sin of lust (not just by Judge Turpin but also by many other characters in the play, like Anthony and Mrs. Lovett) and the sin of anger (by Sweeney Todd), the other deadly sins more or less also appeared in the play.

The seven sins caused the downfall of all the characters—even affecting the innocent lives of Anthony and Johanna. Thus, the life tale of Sweeney Todd ends when the sins that all the characters and most especially himself come into full circle and kill the Demon Barber of Fleet Street—both in the literal and metaphorical sense.


Sondheim, S. , Wheeler, H. , and Bond, C. (2000). Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. New York: Applause Books. Tickle, P. A. (2004). Greed: The Seven Deadly Sins. New York: Oxford University Press.