Literary Criticism Of Steve Chaucer

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Literary Analysis (#2)
Steve Maraboli, a swell-renowned speaker and bestselling author once said, “You can speak with spiritual eloquence, pray in public and maintain a holy appearance, but it is your behavior that will reveal your true character.” During the Middle Ages, the Church dominated everyone’s life. Everyone believed in Heaven, regularly attended church, and greatly feared the consequences of Hell. As the Church gained power and wealth, growing into the most dominant institution at the time, corruption and secularism began to overshadow the true meaning and virtues behind Christianity. In the General Prologue, Geoffrey Chaucer utilizes Ecclesiastical characters such as the Pardoner, the Nun and the Friar to symbolize religious hypocrisy and corruption. Although the Pardoner's occupation opposes the teachings and morals of Christianity, the Pardoner continues to exploit his profession and religion for greedy and selfish desires. On the pilgrimage, Chaucer describes the Pardoner loudly singing Offertories, knowing that “he’d have to preach and tune his honey-tongue and (well he could) win silver from the crowd. That’s why he sang so merrily and loud” (page 163, lines 730-734). The Pardoner misuses Offertories, or hymns meant to bring donations to the Church, to satisfy his own greed. This represents the hypocritical greed within the rich institution of a Church because it contradicts the virtues of charity and aid to those in need, in which it preaches.

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