Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Term Paper:
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales On The Pardoner Character Palucas
An Ironic Tale of Hypocrisy
Chaucer's work titled, The Canterbury Tales, reflects his life and the politics of the medieval era. Written between 1347 and 1400, this work is considered Chaucer's masterpiece. It is organized as a collection of stories told by a group of travelers on pilgrimage to the shrine of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. The Canterbury Tales reflects the diversity of fourteenth-century English life while reflecting the full-range of medieval society with the pilgrims sharing tales that span the medieval literary spectrum. Here critics concur that Chaucer brings each character to life and creates truly memorable individuals. Within the framework of the Canterbury Tales are ten parts that appear in different order in different manuscripts. Critics believe that Chaucer's final plan for this work was never realized because he either stopped working on the piece or died before he could place the sections in sequence. This paper will focus on the character of The Pardoner.
Chaucer portrays the Pardoner's character in an ironic manner as one who is very Christian or churchlike. Sadly, the Pardoner takes advantage of innocent poor people by selling them fraudulent holy relics. The Pardoner's hypocrisy in preaching sets the ironic tone of against cupidity when his own motives are purely avaricious (Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 736, 1987). He enjoys telling tales that are filled with morality; however, his method of living can sometimes be somewhat questionable. One of the Pardoner's favorite sayings is "Love of money is the root of all evil." However, his greed is evident when he works to take advantage of people's religious ignorance. He befriends people and earns their trust by showing his official certificates, then adds spice and color to his sermon by saying a few words in Latin. He easily impresses the laypeople and thus inspires them to become closer to God. His phony religious relics are then put on display so that he might earn a few dollars from the good people that he is serving. The Pardoner warns that he will not sell his relics to sinners and only good people can be absolved by making an offering to him. He then admits that this is the way in which he has earned a100 marks in a year. He maintains that his sermons are against greed and materialism, and this message encourages people to freely give him their money.
Sadly, he admits that his profit is his motivation, and he truly could care less about helping sinners become pure again. This character preaches against sin, but acknowledges that he indulges in various vices and begs from the poor to make a profitable living.
The Pardoner's physical appearance is not attractive. His appearance is described as somewhat revolting for he is a beardless man with a thin goat-like voice. Chaucer describes his hair to be waxy and yellow, which hangs from his head like, strands of flax. His songs are repulsive and Chaucer suggests in the "General Prologue" that the Pardoner is a eunuch.
Somehow, the corrupt Pardoner still manages to hold a congregation captive while he tells a moral tale. This in itself is very ironic.
The Pardoner works his listeners to gain their sympathy by admitting his weaknesses and sins. His confessions are interesting to the crowds, and he finds pleasure with his role as a preacher. He enjoys being an entertainer and performing before the sinners and pretending to search for those who are good. He admits that while he is guilty, he is talented enough to know how to preach against avarice and make people repent. The Pardoner says that although he is a vicious fellow he can tell a tale with a moral and have an audience who will listen. The Pardoner appears to be amused at the thought that his sermons inspire devotion and the desire for redemption within his congregation.
The Pardoner's Tale fits all of the standard criteria of a good short story.
Although critics have analyzed "The Pardoner's Tale" extensively, no one has noticed Chaucer's clever use of the word capouns in this work (Reiff, 856). The Pardoner he portrays as totally corrupt. To emphasize this point, Chaucer parallels the Pardoner's moral depravity with physical deformity and he portrays the Pardoner in a very "un-masculine" light. In "The General Prologue,…[continue]
"Chaucer's Canterbury Tales On The Pardoner Character" (2004, April 17) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/chaucer-canterbury-tales-on-the-pardoner-168433
"Chaucer's Canterbury Tales On The Pardoner Character" 17 April 2004. Web.8 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/chaucer-canterbury-tales-on-the-pardoner-168433>
"Chaucer's Canterbury Tales On The Pardoner Character", 17 April 2004, Accessed.8 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/chaucer-canterbury-tales-on-the-pardoner-168433
They were seen as wives, mothers, daughters and usually "portrayed in relation to a man or group of man" (Klapisch-Zuber285). While they were given little freedom outside this restricted sphere, critics observe that medieval women were granted substantial autonomy within that sphere. Men "imposed a closely circumscribed domain in which women exercised a degree of autonomy... primarily the house, a space both protected and enclosed, and, within the house,
The Bible, he argued, cites the creation of Eve for Adam as proof that a wife is man's support, as well as many other examples of humble and devoted wives. The knight told his brother that he desired a young wife, who was no older than thirty, for she would be more pliable. Placebo cautioned that it takes great courage for an older man to marry a young woman (Classic
Chaucer's CANTERBURY TALES (General Prologue) One of Chaucer's great character descriptions is of the Pardoner: a.) What image suggests his lack of manliness and his effeminacy? Why do you think Chaucer would portray the Pardoner this way? The Pardoner makes his living in an unmanly way, through wit and guile rather than true trade. The pardoner is described as a gelding or a mare, like an animal that cannot reproduce. b.) A goat is
311). In contrast to bolstering the position of any specific class of society, in the Canterbury Tales Chaucer's method of story telling refuses to take sides: a tale by a knight is deflated by that of a miller, and the miller's wit is undercut by his drunkenness. While many critics have commented upon the ironic contrast between the Chaucerian teller of the tales and their content, such as the greedy Pardoner
Perhaps no one has more of a sense of humor about herself and the world than the Wife of Bath. The Wife of Bath shatters a number of stereotypes of the Middle Ages a contemporary reader might possess: first of all, she is socially powerful. As a widow, she is rich, and she is willing to speak her mind. Chaucer's evident delight as a narrator in her lustiness shows that
The contrast between the pardoner and the content of his tale also shows that from a literary perspective, Chaucer was illustrating a new subtly of character. What a character thought he was like (a holy man) might not be who he or she actually was. This could be revealed through involuntary 'slips of the tongue,' like the pardoner condemning greed, even while he was a greedy person in life.
For the poet, Christianity must be devoid of the cultures of corruption and hypocrisy that prevailed during his time. Ideally, a religion, in order to be respected and followed by the people, must maintain a clean image -- that is, an image that reflects the truth of its teachings, wherein its religious principles are embodied by the people who make up the Church. It is also through "Canterbury" that Chaucer