Pardoners_Tale_Paper_MLA - The Pardoners Tale The Pardoners...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The Pardoner’s Tale The Pardoner’s Tale is one of “The Canterbury Tales,” written by Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387 and 1400. (Payne) Chaucer, a famous medieval writer and poet uses this work as a commentary on medieval life and the church. In fact Chaucer is a Catholic and values the doctrine of the church, but appears to be very realistic about, as well as disturbed by, the obvious corruption of the clergy members. “It is worth noting that Chaucer was familiar with the preaching of his time: the Pardoner’s Tale is carefully worked out to conform to the established technique used in sermons. (Thomas, 98) The Pardoner himself is described in the general prologue in such a way as to give the impression that he is an oddity of nature. The man has smooth hairless skin, he speaks with a slight lisp and his voice is somewhere near an octave too high for a grown, post-pubescent male. Chaucer leads the reader to believe that the Pardoner may possibly be a eunuch and is at the very least effeminate. He is introduced as a contradiction and as such, is probably the most interesting pilgrim, with the exception of the wife of bath. Before the pardoner can tell his tale, he must create an excuse for himself. He uses his prologue to divulge personal information as many of the other pilgrims do, however; he divulges much more of himself than do any of the other pilgrims save the wife. He confesses that he is a conman. He tells the pilgrims of his ploy to exact a fee from each of the parishioners listening to his sermons. He admits that he sells false relics and tells the pilgrims that a pardon from him is nice to save face in the village, but a pardon from Christ is needed to attain salvation and redemption. He appears to be quite forthright in admitting who and what he is during this speech. Harry Bailey has initially requested a riotous tale, a comedy to bring merriment. The gentility is not inclined to hear such a story and instead want him to tell a tale weighted more heavily
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
towards sontance than solace . The pardoner says he needs to think a moment of something “decent” and uses the time to take a drink. He states his intention to give a sermon and discusses the topic on which he will preach. He tells that he always preaches on the same topic, radix malorum est cupiditas , or avarice is the root of all evil. He explains to them how he uses exemplum as a tool in his sermons. He shows his pride in his ability to sermonize and to separate worshippers from their money with ease. In short, he will give the pilgrims a sample of how he plies his particular trade. The tale itself is about three young men, inebriated at a tavern, whom decide to “kill death.” They set out from the tavern in pursuit of death, with full determination to find and kill him. The young men encounter an old man, wrapped in cloth, much as a mummy would be, and demand that he tell them where they can find death. The role of the old man is quite ambiguous
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 10/23/2009 for the course ENG Chaucer taught by Professor Morgan during the Fall '06 term at Converse.

Page1 / 7

Pardoners_Tale_Paper_MLA - The Pardoners Tale The Pardoners...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online