The Pardoner Of Chaucer 's The Canterbury Tales

1129 Words5 Pages
Hypocrisy is a common attribute attributed to many of Chaucer’s religious characters in The Canterbury Tales. They are greedy, drunks, and people without a moral code. In The Pardoner’s Tale this theme is exemplified. The Pardoner is greedy and drunk. Matthew 19:24 (ESV) says, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Despite this, the Pardoner’s only goal is to scam as many people as he can with his “pardoning” of sins. The Pardoner would pretend to have objects blessed by the Vatican and sell them to people as an indulgence for future sins. It is doubtful that any of his objects had even been to Rome. Therefore, when the Pardoner starts his tale, it is one full of hypocrisy and deceit. Arguably, Chaucer’s grievance was not specific to the Pardoner. Rather, Chaucer used this character to make a wider point about the corruption of religion during the fourteenth century. During Chaucer’s life, the fourteenth century, it was a common belief that outward physical attribute represents the personal attributes such as one’s moral code and vices. Chaucer’s first description of the Pardoner’s appearance says, “This pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex. / But smothe it heeng as dooth a strike of flex; / By ounces henge his lokkes that he hadde[.]” The Pardoner had thin, stringy yellow hair. It was limp on his head and most likely hadn’t been washed in days. The picture painted does not seem
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