Pardoners Tale, Chaucer, Canterbury Essays

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The Pardoner's Subconscious Character

"The Pardoner's Tale," by Geoffrey Chaucer, makes evident the parallel between the internal emotions of people and the subconscious exposure of those emotions. This particular story, from The Canterbury Tales, is a revealing tale being told by a medieval pardoner to his companions on a journey to Canterbury. Though the Pardoner's profession is to pardon and absolve the sins of people, he actually lives in constant violation of sins such as gluttony, gambling, and, most importantly, avarice. The Pardoner does feel guilt and advocates not to commit avarice; he exclaims, "'Radix malorum est Cupiditas,'" (line 426) as his theme more than once. Because he
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The old man is the guide to spiritual and physical death, as is easily seen by the deaths of the three rioters. Thus, the old man looks of death: "Lo how I vanysshe, flessh, and blood, and skyn!" (Line 732). On the other hand, the Pardoner's profession is to absolve sinners and steer them towards life; he guides people to spiritual and even physical life! Therefore, he personifies all that is pure and innocent, such as a youthful and innocent boy. Both, with this physical aid, do good jobs of preaching to people to get their desired results.

The eager minds of the people and the skill of the two preachers are what lead the people to either life or death. It is obvious that the Pardoner does not actually use sacred relics to cure anything: "Relikes been they, as wenen they echoon / Thanne have I in latoun a sholder-boon / Which that was of an hooly Jewes sheep." (Lines 349-51). He has actually "cured" those who come to him seeking salvation and pardon. This mindset, with the addition of the Pardoner's great skill in making himself sound so innocent and pure, is what actually cures the people. The people just need something tangible, like the fake relics, to hold on to and believe in to be "cured". Again, the same is true for the old man. The three rioters that come to him are already in search of and eager to find Death, as opposed to life or salvation. When the old man points them in the right
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