The size, power, and wealth of The Church caused major corruption in the time period 1000-1500 AD / CE. The Catholic Church had its own laws and government-type system. Church leaders such as Bishops and Archbishops were on the king’s council and played very important leading roles in the government. If you wanted to get any position on the king's council you needed the churches to support or it would not have been possible. Church officials in addition to this kept records of everything.
In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer gives a critique on the corruption of the clergy men by incorporating greedy and incontinent clerical members on the journey to Canterbury. Chaucer shows the corruption of these men through examples of them breaking their vows to the Church and through their selfish acts. Among the members of Chaucer’s clergy, the Monk and the Friar exhibit characteristics of corruption, while the Pardoner, although not
He did not become a savior as Christ did to his disciples, even though he did free them from the corruption of the world. He had many of the traits of a Christ figure, but in the end he failed to live up to the archetype, and would be forgotten by the boys as they grew
Satire In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer used satire in many of his writings including the monk the general prologue and the friar. There are many satirical targets including the church. Out of everyone in his writings, he uses the friar, the pardoner, and the prioress to show his satirical views of the church. He isn't targeting the church but he is targeting church hypocrisy.
Figures who people would look up to as “holy” would take advantage of their positions and their power. The Church began to conduct religious abuses such as selling church positions, selling indulgences, and supporting the luxurious lifestyle of the popes. Even corruption and immortality began to spur within the clergy. Churches charged their dedicated Catholic followers for the sins they committed in order to appease their own selfish greed. The Catholic Church was heavily corrupted, and once he realized it, what did he do?
Destruction can come in the form of corruption as can be seen by literary in the medieval period. A good work to look at is Geofrey Chaucer's story, The Canterbury Tales as it relates corruption to people. In the most lively moments, Chaucer's story relays to the reader how many can be different than what they seem. These lies can also end up destroying a kingdom. Many would take deliberate steps to fool anyone who gaze upon them, and in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales it is seen that there were precedents that were set in place to make the situation of the story seem important as it "was soon one with them in fellowship, / Pledged to rise early and to take the way"(Chaucer l.32-33. 115).
Corruption in the Catholic Church has been prevalent through out history. Throughout the ages, the church has been able to survive scandals, wars, and corruption and has been able to maintain popularity. But during the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church started to decline in popularity. Catholics started to regard the church with skepticism and suspicion. Although the church was created for the purpose of religious guidance, the corrupt leaders and followers of the Catholic Church changed the morals and ideals the church was founded upon.
The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, reveals that religion does not make moral individuals. Chaucer goes on about telling how several of the characters on the pilgrimage had questionable lifestyles yet the characters were taking part in a religious journey. Religion can only influence a moral character but does not make its followers untouchable to the imperfections found on earth. In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer’s character, The Pardoner, is a church official who altered the peoples mind by cheating the people into believing any nonsense.
In the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer utilizes the immoral character of the Pardoner to tell the utmost moral tale through satirical devices, presenting the true greed and hypocrisy that runs throughout the Church, regardless of it attempt to cover it. Chaucer introduces the hypocrisy within the Church through the characterization of the Pardoner, as he is explained to be a man with, “flattery and equal japes./He made the parson and the rest his apes” (“General Prologue” 607-608). “Japes” are tricks, alluding to the Pardoner’s relics, as they are fake; yet, the Pardoner still sells these relics to the Church members as genuine treasures. This creates dramatic irony, because the character of the Church body is unaware of the situation bestowed
Chaucer, like many others in the medieval society, expected certain traits within church members. Those expectations focused around being devoted to one’s faith, helping the betterment of the society, and staying true to God. After being analyzed, it is clear that the monk crumbles when held to those standards. On the other hand, the parson seemed to be one of the few characters that is genuine and faithful. Chaucer may have used his satirical work to inspire reform in the church, but further peruse may lead readers to believe that such reform may be needed within their own
The reader should now know Geoffrey Chaucer disapproves of the Church and deems it to almost only be full of hypocrites because of people such as the Friar and the Pardoner being a part of it and doing what sinful deeds they do against God and the followers who they are supposed to be protecting and taking care of. If it was not for the Parson existing, or even clergy members, then the generalization of him believing the entire Catholic Church was a hypocrisy would be entirely true, but that is not the case. Still, maybe Chaucer made such an implication because he had a bad past with the Church, but then again in the story he was traveling to a religious shrine, so he must not have such a bad past when it comes to Catholicism. There must have been a root to his disdain towards the Church as in, he was conned by a pardoner or a friar or even grew up seeing only hypocrisy from the Catholic Church, which could have molded his opinion of it. Instead of making, The Canterbury Tales, a full on attack against the Church, he decided to make it a comical, satirical piece, which was a very intelligent move by him.
If someone has too much power, can that lead to that person becoming corrupt?. During the middle ages the church was corrupt and many church officials abused their power in order to steal money from the peasants. The Pardoner uses his speaking skills and church position to steal money from the poor peasants who don't know any better. Chaucer depicts the corruption among the Clergy during the Middle Ages through the Pardoner's tale. Chaucer also depicts how the Pardoner's appearance is a reflection of him.
In “The Canterbury Tales” Chaucer illustrates the corruption of the church through the religious characters in both the tales and the prologue and their obsession with money. Illustrating the fact that medieval England, the church had a big impact on the lives of people due to them being able to “read” the bible. In many cases, this was uses to manipulate people into giving their money to church. Throughout the tales, people are shown to stand up to the church and beat them at their own game and this provides the ideal response to church corruption.
Chaucer wrote the book: The Canterbury Tales, in which a group of men going on a journey all tell a tale. Within each tale is a moral lesson as well as each tale consists of a corrupt action committed within the church and is conveyed by those kind of characters within the story. One of the tales that Chaucer tells in his book is called: The pardoner 's tale. Within this tale the pardoner (who is telling the tale) is a preacher who often gives sermons but admits that he does is solely for money and not to condemn people of their sins. (Greed)