“The Pardoner’s Prologue” is an introduction given by the Pardoner to his fellow pilgrims, and his prologue is one of the greatest moments of satire used by Chaucer in all of “The Canterbury Tales”. The Pardoner is a man that preaches to groups, and he pardons them of their sins, after given a tithe. He tells the group how he will reach about others greed to get the greatest tithe, then use that money for himself. “Pardoner is someone who emphasizes seemingly hypocritical excesses in his own character.” (Boenig) He is the one that shows of his hypocrisy, no other character is ...
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...used to reach the common man. The satire used on common group members like the cook would bring in members of the middle class to read his story. They wanted characters that they could relate to, and Chaucer gave them those characters, even if they were being played fun of. Finally, Chaucer took aim at all of marriage in “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue”. The wife has had five husbands, and she used many of them for their money. The wife was, and is, exactly what all men are afraid of when moving towards marriage. Chaucer’s satire brings about great reactions from his readers, but what if he did not mean it to be satiric? “If the reader is to take Chaucer at his word, he seems to suggest that his works were being misread.” (Helterman) Did he really intend to invoke satiric reactions from others, or did he just intend for people to see these as stories of entertainment?
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