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“Detail that the Canterbury Pilgrims” by william Blake, 1810. Wikimedia Commons.

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Introduction

by Caroline Pernas

The Pardoner begins his tale after the host has asked because that an uplifting story after ~ the boring account that the Physician. The Pardoner’s Prologue details his approaches of swindling poor and also fearful world in exchange for the “pardons” that sin he can bestow as a representative the the Church. After describing his very own hypocrisy and also exposing the moral rot that Church hierarchy, he tells a tale that attributes the axiom, “Greed is the root of every evil.”

Summary the the Prologue


The Pardoner is a swindler, a smooth-talking cleric who provides pardons for sin in exchange because that money (known together “indulgences” in the center Ages). He admits his hypocrisy, yet his love for money, food, and liquor stop him from finishing his vices. He also says he would willingly trick vulnerable people like widows and their hungry children. Follow to him, the does not mind if the money originates from “…the poorest page, Or through the poorest widow in the village” (Chaucer 163-164). The Pardoner continuously preaches that “Greed is the root of all evil” while offering indulgences, or pardons that sin, and also keeping the money because that himself.

Summary of the Tale

He continues with a story about three young rioters in Flanders who sought to defeat death after a friend dies from the plague. An old male reveals come them that Death’s place is close to an oak tree in a grove. They strategy the tree and also only to uncover a hoard of yellow coins. Among the young males is sent off to look for food and drink, if the 2 others conspire to killing him in order come enjoy more of the money. Eventually, the young male returns v food and also wine laced through poison. He, too, desires the money for himself and also had collection about to kill the various other two. As soon as he lays under the food, the is killed. The two remaining males sit back, relax, and also drink the poisoned wine. Lock die alongside their murdered friend’s body. Once the Pardoner introduce the Tale’s characters, he interrupts it through sermons versus drinking, gluttony, and also swearing. The is hardest versus drunkenness due to the fact that it leads to regrettable misbehavior. After informing his tale, the Pardoner make the efforts to offer his relics come the pilgrims, specifically to the Host, prior to the organize replies through a mocking remark. The Host’s an answer angers the Pardoner, therefore the article intervenes before they start a fight. The Host and the Pardoner abruptly finish their quarrel.

Historic Context

When “The Pardoner’s Tale” was written, suspicion towards the Catholic Church’s authority to be increasing due to several social factors(Bisson 49). Since the fourth Lateran board of directors in 1215, confession had been a need for having actually sins forgiven. Just being remorseful to be not enough to be clearing of sins. For less serious sins, indulgences were completed by supplying services to the Church (Bisson 60-61). Indulgences additionally helped minimize a person’s time invested in purgatory. Letter of indulgence were issued through payments. The Church plan to use its revenue for particular purposes, but there was doubt on how much that the money was invested on legit needs. Commissioners such together Chaucer’s Pardoner would store a section of the earnings as revenue (“Pardoners and also indulgences”), however they additionally abused the mechanism by making use of “relics to make false guarantees of pardons” (Bisson 62). The Pardoner was the most vital character in this tale, and the pilgrims stand to lose from his manipulative tactics. The pilgrims would have actually spent money on lies and not ~ above indulgences (Chaucer 634-635). The occasions in the prologue and also tale took location at a time once pilgrimages were also common. A pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred location for reverence or aid. Follow to World Youth Day, “In the past, pilgrims would leave their homes, families, and comforts to walk for numerous miles with nothing yet what lock could carry on their backs” (“What is a Pilgrimage?”). The trip in The Canterbury Tales to be to the shrine of Saint cutting board Becket, located in Canterbury. His shrine was a well-known attraction in Europe for virtually four centuries (Knowles).

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Literary Context

“The Pardoner’s Prologue” and also the tale incorporate multiple literature characteristics. The purpose of this poem is to game the reader by deliberately arranging the words. One an essential characteristic, poetic rhythm, is evident in which Chaucer employs iambic pentameter v rhyming couplets. For example, each line has actually ten syllables. A emphasize syllable is followed by one unstressed rate (“Analysis: writing Style”). Each line ends with words the rhyme or sound prefer rhyming native (Chaucer 177-180). Iambic pentameter is supplied in the Pardoner’s boastful demeanor and his occasional use of Latin. (Chaucer 137-140). The writer also makes use of figurative language through personification in arguing that death is a live stalker who can be defeated. The most important characteristic is the layout in which greed uniform the poem. The Pardoner is depicted as greedy and also selfish (“The Canterbury”). That wants more money, food, and also drink 보다 he is licensed has been granted to (Chaucer 166). The is obsessed v money and constantly talks around it (Chaucer 154-156). The sells lamb bones while passing them off together a cure because that ailments (Chaucer 64-74). The Pardoner climate mentions accumulating liquor and a wench after mirroring no remorse for acquisition starving widows’ money (Chaucer 163-167). His story likewise illustrates greed. The three rioters willingly kill each various other over gold (Chaucer 595-602).The presence of these qualities demonstrates Chaucer’s reliable use of literary devices.