Chaucer's View of the Pardoner as a Character Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1163 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Chaucer's View of the Pardoner as a Character

In the Pardoner’s Tale, Chaucer presents the Pardoner in a particular
light, and being a religious figure, this allows him to make a general
statement about religion at the time. Chaucer’s view of the Pardoner
as a character, and also as something to epitomise religion at the
time, is evident from his use of vocabulary, his style, and by using
strong imagery and description. In this way, Chaucer builds the
character of the Pardoner as someone who is ironically deceptive and
driven by his own selfish motives.

A key theme that runs throughout the Pardoner’s Prologue is religion,
and as the Pardoner’s proper role is to act as an intercessor between
those who wish to repent and God himself, it is appropriate that
Chaucer uses a great deal of religious lexis. There are many examples
of this all through the text, such as when he mentions that the
Pardoner carries ‘Bulles of popes and cardinals’ or ‘official
documents’ signed by popes and cardinals. The plural use of the word
‘popes’ reveals a lot about the Pardoner in that it immediately shows
his disregard and contempt for the clergy. Religiously, there is only
meant to be one Pope and pluralizing the word devalues the pro-noun to
a simple noun. The lack of determiners only further degrades the Pope
as it shows no differentiation in these religious figures and others.
They are simply the same and en masse, whereas, believers of the
religion would disagree and be of the opinion that the Pope is the
highest religious authority, but the Pardoner brings him down to basic
levels and standards.

Another example of lexis related to religion is when the Pardoner says
‘I stonde lyk a clerk in my pulpet’. This simile un...

... middle of paper ...

...oner and Chaucer does not let his readers forget it as he gives
continuous reminders throughout the text.

Chaucer is not always so subtle in his presentation of the Pardoner.
Near the end of the prologue, the Pardoner boldly asserts that ‘though
myself be a full vicious man, A moral tale yet I you telle kan.’ The
pardoner describes himself as we have aready been made to see him by
Chaucer’s other techniques and here he admits it shamelessly, which
only adds to the readers’ negative impression of him, in that he is
not only deceptive, deceitful and ‘vicious’ but he also has no regret
or remorse for his actions and attitudes, hence he is unlikely to
change. It is ironic that the Pardoner admits to this characteristic
of his and then claims that he will still be able to tell a moral
tale, although his admittance also shows that he is aware of this

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
The Tale of the Pardoner in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Essay - A Look at the Pardoner: the Genius of Chaucer The Canterbury Tales is a literary masterpiece in which the brilliant author Geoffrey Chaucer sought out to accomplish various goals. Chaucer wrote his tales during the late 1300’s. This puts him right at the beginning of the decline of the Middle Ages. Historically, we know that a middle class was just starting to take shape at this time, due to the emerging commerce industry. Chaucer was able to see the importance and future success of the middle class, and wrote his work with them in mind....   [tags: Pardoner's Tale] 1940 words
(5.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Pilgrim Portrait-The Pardoner Essay - In the “General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer explores what happens when spiritual goods begin to be profit-earning commodities, and question the effect of this trade upon the individual who practices it. The Pardoner that Chaucer writes about, is seen as a feminine con-artist who went against the typical perception of individuals associated with the church. A Pardoner is someone who was supposed to travel, selling official church pardons like pieces of paper with a bishop's signature on them or relics, entitling the bearer to forgiveness for their sins....   [tags: Chaucer's Canterbury Tales] 1335 words
(3.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Analysis of Kittredge's Chaucer's Pardoner Essay - Analysis of Kittredge's Chaucer's Pardoner A realistic character is an important element of literary works. This "dramatic propriety" is a characteristic that many critics believe is absent in Chaucer's "The Pardoner's Tale" due to lack of believability. However, George Kittredge challenges this view in "Chaucer's Pardoner", stating that throughout the tale, the pardoner is indeed an extremely realistic and complex character. Kittredge's defense of "The Pardoner's Tale" begins with his acknowledgement of alternative explanations for the pardoner's unusual confession....   [tags: Papers] 571 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Chaucer's Revelation of Corruption in the Medieval Catholic Church - Corrupt and deceitful practices run among the Church’s clergy. Selfish acts such as the selling of indulgences occur all over. Many ignorant people buy into these lies and become the victims of the corrupt clergy of the Church. Author Geoffrey Chaucer shows how he views the Church in his acclaimed work The Canterbury Tales. In the book, Chaucer mentions how many people who are associated to the church take advantage of common people. Such exemplar characters of the book are The Pardoner and The Summoner....   [tags: Chaucer, Corruption, Catholic Church, ] 892 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Epiphanies in Joyce's Dubliners and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - James Joyce’s Dubliners is a compilation of stories that all rely on character epiphanies in order to develop each story. These epiphanies change the tone of each story because each yields a negative change or reaction. In both “Araby” and “The Dead”, the characters realize or learn something about the world around them, which makes them second guess either themselves or the reason behind their actions. Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales contains at least one tale that relies on an epiphany to help develop theme but it doesn’t change the tone or course of the story, it just helps to portray the true meaning of the character....   [tags: James Joyce Geoffrey Chaucer] 1192 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Geoffrey Chaucer View and Change on Judgement Essay - As humans, it is a natural tendency to judge everything. We discriminate people, and judge them by who they are. Teenage girls judge other girls by what they wear, how they look, and how they present themselves socially. Do we do this on purpose. Of course not, but when we get bored with ourselves, we have to judge other people and compare. When we start this judgment process, we also form certain opinions towards that person or an organization. Geoffrey Chaucer is one of these people, but he actually did something about it....   [tags: hypocrisy, church, gender, satire, sarcasm]
:: 5 Works Cited
962 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Chaucer's View on the Church in The Canterbury Tales - Chaucer's View on the Church in The Canterbury Tales By analyzing “The Canterbury Tales”, one can conclude that Chaucer did see the merits of the church, but by no means regarded it in a wholly positive light. Whereas some of the clergy are viewed as devout and God-fearing, others are viewed as con- men and charlatans. One can even venture to say that Chaucer was using this story as somewhat of a criticism of the church, showing the flaws of its leaders and the greed that permeated it at the time....   [tags: Papers] 475 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Geoffrey Chaucer's Wife of Bath Essay - Chaucer's Wife of Bath is the most fully and vividly realized of the characters in The Canterbury Tales and her lengthy Prologue and brief Tale have a force and vitality that derive from the perfect integration of character and message. The Wife's account of her own life and her tale are both, seemingly, directed toward establishing the principle that happiness in marriage results from the woman's "mastery" over her husband. Nearly everything she says runs counter to theological authority, ecclesiastical preaching, and conventional social notions regarding the relations between men and women....   [tags: The Wife of Bath Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1795 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay Chaucer's Caterbury Tales - Chaucer is a medieval author best known for his witty Canterbury Tales. He “was born between 1340 and 1345, probably in London. His father was a prosperous wine merchant” (BBC). Drawing inspiration from what he had experienced in his lifetime, Chaucer wrote his problems about his society with a series of short stories, names the Canterbury Tales. These tales are abnormal, due to being written in English, instead of Latin, like most stories of that period. Also, there is lots of examples of satire within the text....   [tags: medieval text analys, reflection of culture]
:: 7 Works Cited
573 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Jest and Earnest in Chaucer's Work - Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London around 1342, though the details are vague at best, and lived until 1400. Little is known of his early education, but his works show that he could read French, Latin, and Italian, and as such was clearly very well educated, and it is also known that he spent much of his life close to the centres of English power because the first reports of Chaucer come from 1357 as a page in the household of Prince Lionel before he went to serve for Edward III in France, where he was captured and ransomed....   [tags: European Literature] 2373 words
(6.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]