The Pardoner of The Canterbury Tales Essay

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The Pardoner of The Canterbury Tales

How can a man exact vengeance on God if there is nothing a mortal can do to hurt Him? The Pardoner was born sterile, which resulted in abnormal physical development. He blames God for his deformities and attempts to attack God by attacking the link between God and mankind – the Church.

In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer indirectly depicts the characters through the stories they tell. The tale is a window upon the person that tells it. However, the Pardoner’s tale seems to contradict this situation. The Pardoner, an immoral man, tells a moral story because he believes that doing this will further his ultimate objective – revenge upon God for his anomalous physical attributes. “He had the same
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The Pardoner’s tale has an important theme, “Radix malorum est cupiditas,” which translates to “Greed is the root of all evil.” However, the Pardoner does not practice what he preaches. His vocation, which involves selling false pardons and relics for a profit, is a contradiction to his theme. “And thus I preach against the very vice/ I make my living out of – avarice” (243). The Pardoner continues with his tale and condemns gluttony, drinking, gambling, and swearing, but then declares that he is guilty of each one. It is evident that the Pardoner is a hypocrite and that he has no intention of changing.

In the tale, three young rioters discover that a good friend has died and they mistakenly believe he was killed by a man named Death. They pledge that they will find Death and avenge their friend. As they embark on their quest, they pass by an old man and criticize his age. They inquire about Death, and the old man mentions that he left Death by a tree. The rioters proceed to the tree, but find a pile of gold florins rather than Death. Ultimately, the three young men kill each other in a vain attempt to increase their personal share of the gold. Thus, the young men set out to find Death and they succeeded in their search. Their greed was the cause of their demise. The Pardoner is analogous to the rioters because
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