The Pardoner from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay

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The Pardoner from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, The Pardoner tells a story in the form of a sermon, an exemplum, to be exact. He intends to teach the congregation that "love of money is the root of all evil" and that
"consequences of sin is death." The symbolic function of The Old Man is debatable; is he, for instance "Death's messenger", Death himself, or a satanic figure who tempts, much in the fashion of the Devil as serpent in the Adam and Ever story. The story is made even more complex and ironic by the disreputable character of the Pardoner as narrator. He is an immoral man who tells a very moral story for very immoral reasons.

The moral of the story is established through the story of the
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He completes their quest for death, when he informs them that he has last seen
Death under a large oak tree. The men hurry to the spot and instead find eight bushels of gold, and decide to keep the gold. The reader is supposed to see that the money is death, and is lying at the root of the tree, which is where we begin to form the theme, "money is the root of all evil." However, the drunken rioters do not see through this and they grow greedy and kill themselves through trickery. They begin celebrating their fortune with bread and wine, however shortly after; the first two rioters and the youngest rioter begin to display devilish thoughts to gain more of the money. However the older two rioters kill the youngest because they want more money. Their journey ends when the older two rioters decide to kill the younger rioter because they want more money, however the younger rioter had already poisoned their wine to attempt to gain all the money. The older two rioters drink the wine and die. Thus completing the theme, "money is the root of all evil."

After completing the tale, the reader is lead to believe that the Old
Man is none other than Death himself. The man is described as wearing a robe that covers his entire body; much like a Grim Reaper would wear. After he is treated so badly by these men, he just happens to lead them into a death trap, which he knows will cost nothing but problems. It is also said that the man
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