In his story titled "The Canterbury Tales" Chaucer seems to truly admire some of the pilgrims while displaying disdain and sarcasm towards the others. The pilgrims that he most seems to admire are the Knight, the Oxford Clerk and the Parson. The knight he seems to admire based on his notation of all the campaigns in which the knight has participated in service to just causes. Chaucer makes mention of the knight 's worthiness, wisdom and humility "Though so illustrious, he was very wise And bore himself as meekly as a maid." (67,68 Chaucer).
In contrast, his tale is the complete opposite of his personality. It is about three men who are punished by God for being avaricious, gluttonous and overall sinners. Yet, it still fits the pardoner's character because of how it is used: to make people feel guilty and give money to the pardoner. Overall, even though the pardoner is one of the worst human beings in the novel, he is indeed the most fascinating.
Likewise, one such example of the corruption the Church influenced on medieval society is The Pardoner. This man is portrayed as being a greedy fellow who uses the word of god to get a hold of other people’s money. He goes from town to town and robs people’s money in one of the most deceitful ways possible. The pardoner even tells them at first but they forget this warning later: ‘But let me briefly make my purpose plain; I preach for nothing but for greed or gain ……………………………………………. I make my living out of—avarice.
The Pardoner and the Summoner in particular display a desire to cheat out anyone they can in order to further their own personal wealth. The Pardoner carries with him “…a pillow-case/Which he assert[s] …[is]…Our Lady’s veil” (Chaucer 712-713) and he is said to find “Some poor up-county parson to astound,” (720) charging them to see and touch this false relic. Though he seems a virtuous and trustworthy man, the Pardoner is just a fourteenth century con artist. His official job in the church is to sell ... ... middle of paper ... ...eds of years and remains as such. When inducted to service with the Church, each of the characters: the Pardoner, the Summoner, the Oxford Cleric, and the Friar, are given a place of paradise for their souls after death.
Many readers of the poem Beowulf may find it difficult to distinguish the 'good' kings from the rest – indeed, almost every man who holds a throne in the epic is named at one point or another to be 'good'. By examining the ideals of the time period as identified by the 'heroic code', it becomes clearer that a truly 'good' king is one who generously distributes treasure and weaponry to deserving retainers to honour courage and strength displayed in battle and to encourage the defense of the kingdom (Intro). When Beowulf ascends the throne of the Geats, the heroic traits of courage and strength for which he was so highly praised as a warrior do not serve well in making him a good king. Indeed, by exhibiting the traits of a thane, that is, by relying solely on the strength of one man alone, he ultimately leaves his kingdom defenseless. By first examining how Hrothgar ensures a future for his people, and then by analyzing Beowulf's actions and motivations as king before he fights the dragon, this essay will define good kingship and expose Beowulf's failings as a king.
His Knight can do no wrong: he is an outstanding warrior who has fought for the 'true faith' (according to Chaucer) on three continents. In the midst of all this, however, Chaucer's Knight remains modest and polite. Thus we see him as the embodiment of the traditional chivalric code: bold and fearless on the battlefield, devout and courteous off it. Apart from the moral message contained in the story, perhaps this tale of Chaucer's is of even further interest to modern-day readers. In our twentieth-century America, we would like to think that we simply don't have enough people in our society who we can liken to Chaucer's Knight.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M M. H. Abrams. 6th ed. New York: Norton, 1996.