The Pardoner’s Tale of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

Satisfactory Essays
The Canterbury Tales - The Pardoner’s Tale

One might assume that the person telling the story has a lot to do with the story they're telling. This is the case in the Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales." In the tale of "The Pardoner's", the voice tells a tale dealing with his famous preach; "Radix malorum est Cupiditas." In English, "The root of all evil is Greed." An ironic distinction can be made with what a "Pardoner" is known to be, the character (the voice/Pardoner), and the tale that he tells.

Through the Prologue of the Pardoner's Tale one can say that he lives up to his name. As the “Webster” dictionary states, “a medieval ecclesiastic authorized to raise money for religious works by granting papal indulgences to contributors.” Pardoner's were known to be granters of the church. Which in reality, they would keep all of the money given to them by generous people. They were generally associated with being untrustworthy and sneaky. In reality they did have a gift for preaching, but they didn’t exactly follow what they preach.

In the Prologue the Pardoner shows his true self. Chaucer, describes him as bad as he dislikes him. Portraying him with having long, greasy, yellow hair, and also beardless ("The Pardoner's Tale".) The Pardoner revealing in the Prologue, that the only thing he cares about is money. “I preach nothing except for gain” (Pardoner’s Tale.) Aside from being extremely greedy, he is also a hypocrite. He preaches the one thing that he’s most guilty for. “Avarice is the most of all evil” (“The Pardoner’s Tale”.) The greed and hypocrisy is also shown in the tale that he tells.

Throughout the tale itself, the greed and hypocrisy that the Pardoner has, is also shown. In the tale, three friends begin a Journey in order to kill death. During their journey, they meet an old man that tells them where they can find a treasure. He also warns them that in no way is it good treasure. At this point in the tale, the three friends show their greed, and later their hypocrisy, by planning to kill the other to keep the treasure. Eventually, that greed and hypocrisy leads to their downfall.