The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

1969 WordsFeb 3, 20188 Pages
In his novel The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer presents the corruption of the Catholic Church through several of his characters. Chaucer lived in a time of controversial indulgences, a way to pay off sins. Chaucer’s tales show his opposition to these sinful behaviors that he believed were common among the clergy. In order to protest against sinful behavior and religious corruption, Chaucer uses characters such as the pardoner, the friar, the summoner, and the prioress to show the lack of morality and faith among the clergy, and presents the parson as an example of how to correct corruption of the Catholic Church. Chaucer demonstrates corruption of the clergy through the pardoner who is a sinner since he deceives the innocent through greed, which at the time was a mortal sin. Chaucer describes the pardoner as having a bunch of relics in his pouch such as “a croys of latoun, full of stones” (GP 699). However, Chaucer retorts, But with thise relikes, whan that he fond A povre person dwellynge upon lond, Upon a day he gat hym moore moneye Than that the person gat in monthes tweye (GP 701-704). Here, Chaucer calls the pardoner a liar who uses false relics to collect money from people he meets who are trying to repent of their sins. The pardoner is even more appalling because he preaches against greed, yet he is guilty of that very sin when he tricks the innocent into giving him large amounts of money by using these false relics. Chaucer characterizes the pardoner as
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