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Corruption and Greed in The Canterbury Tales Essay example

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The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is a collection of stories by a group of pilgrims who are heading to Canterbury Cathedral. In this book, the pardoner and the reeve show antipodal characters in many ways. The pardoner is beautiful blonde hair man who is being loved by everyone. However he is very corrupted and smart and sells fake religious stuff to people saying very good compliment. On the other hand, the reeve is very serious and honest business man. He is very smart enough to know what criminals think and do. The pardoner story-tells a great example (or tale?) of seven deadly sins and reeve’s story is mocking of the miller. These very different characteristic men tell story telling that human beings are always punished for being greedy. The crooked pardoner and the honest reeve have different purposes for telling their tales, but their stories have the same major theme; sins deserve punishment.

The pardoner tells the readers that money and greed is root of all evil throughout this tale. In his tale, there are three drunken men, one day, decide to find Death and annihilate it. They ask one old man where the death is and he points at the tree where a lot of gold are. When they find gold they only think of getting gold as many as possible and end up planning to kill each other. Three men are unaware of their own evil and as a result, three all die. By story-telling this tale which comprehends no interaction with his behavior, the pardoner negate his own moral and advises other people how should they live their life in order to avoid sins.

In the reeve’s tale, the miller, Symkyn, is very well know for stealing other people’s properties. Two university students, John and Aleyn, have their corn stolen from that miller ...


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... is not greedy at all because he doesn’t show off the fact that he is rich. He is loyal to his lord and a working-hard business man which is free from sloth, lust and gluttony. He is a perfect example of the human who lives their life best, not committing deadly sins unlike the pardoner. He disgusts of the miller in the book who is being very gluttony and lust. He warns the miller that he will be punished as in his tale says “He who does evil should not expect good.” He analyzes the miller in the book to the miller in the tale, Symkym; greed will bring disaster to him and will punish him by the fate. These completely different characters share the same theme for different reasons and purposes which tells the reader that the standard of morality is same to various people and they should not commit the sins which certainly will be punished in some way in the future.



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