Hypocrisy Revealed in Canterbury Tales

891 WordsNov 19, 20064 Pages
In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales he reveals an underlying flaw in society. Chaucer portrays the Pardoner as hypocritical in order to get his message across to readers. The Pardoner is shown to be the exact definition of a hypocrite by preaching to others to lead a spiritual life, while not living by those preaching's himself. In Canterbury Tales, Chaucer reveals hypocritical qualities in the Pardoner through vivid characterization, tone, and morality. In the Pardoner's prologue, Chaucer describes what a swindler and model of deceit the Pardoner actually is with vivid characterization. The Pardoner is so convincing in his acts that "[i]n one short day, in money down he dr[aws]/ More than a parson in a month or two./and by his…show more content…
This is simply an easy way for the Pardoner to trick others into feeding his infinite appetite for greed (Boenig 4). Another example of this shows that the Pardoner "ha[s] a cross of metal set with stones/ And, in a glass, a rubble of pigs' bones." (Chaucer 695-66). These were more so-called "relics" which the Pardoner defrauds others into obtaining. Virtues of honesty and godliness are never displayed in the Pardoner's persona. The absence of such qualities makes Chaucer's ambition of showing hypocrisy amongst society easily attainable. In Canterbury Tales, Chaucer reveals hypocritical qualities in the Pardoner through vivid characterization, tone, and morality. The Pardoner's total lack of respect for the Church's expectations and the congregation allows Chaucer to display flaws in society. Chaucer is able to demonstrate scams and illustrate hypocrisy in the Church, and society in general through the techniques he uses in Canterbury Tales. Works Cited Boenig, Robert. "The Pardoner's Hypocrisy and His Subjectivity." Gale Group Databases. Lugoff-Elgin High School Lib., Lugoff, SC. 23 Feb, 2006. . Chaucer, Geoffrey. "The Canterbury Tales." Trans. Nevill Coghill. Glencoe Literature, The Reader's Choice, British Literature. Columbus: Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 2000. 118-119. "Pardoner's Prologue and Tale, The." Wikipedia. 23 Feb. 2006. 24

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