The Pardoner from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

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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 three rioters. The three rioters are anonymous hoodlums to whom the narrator gives no distinctive characteristics. We are introduced to these three drunken rioters who are on a quest to find death, after their friend dies from the plague. During their venture, we are introduced to the irony of this tale, as each of the men agree to die for one a...

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