Essay On The Pardoner In The Canterbury Tales

598 Words3 Pages
The Pardoner, and is role in Christianity is extremely corrupt. He represents the Catholic Church and how they had been governing England, Ireland, and the entire continent of Europe. By the fourteenth century, the church had become overwhelmingly wealthy, and used that wealth to build up their cathedrals. The main focus was no longer solely on the religion, but on outward appearance. The Pardoner represents this role well in The Canterbury Tales. In the fourteenth century, cathedrals grew around shrines to saints’ relics and were incredibly expensive to build. The amount of gold that went into the decorations such as candlesticks, and reliquaries, surpassed the riches in the noble’s coffers. In the Canterbury tales it shows how important…show more content…
The sight of the church ornamented with gold and jewels seemed unfair to the people. The church would often preach against greed which seemed hypocritical to the masses. This was considering the amount of great wealth displayed by the church. The church would also ask that relics not be offered by those who have committed sin, yet teach that no man can be named blameless. According to the Pardoner, “But whoso finds himself without such blame, he will come up and offer in God’s name” (2). The Pardoner is representing the priest and what sermons are teaching those in the church. The amount of hypocrisy in the church during the fourteenth century is astounding. The pardoner is fittingly the most marginalized character in the story. His job is to offer indulgences for sins. In that day the pardoners were paid by the church to offer these indulgences, and is not supposed to pocket any charitable donations from the penitents. This practice came under the critique by quite a few churchmen. Widespread suspicion held that the pardoners would counterfeit the pope’s signature on illegitament indulgences and pocket the extra money. The character in The Canterbury Tales was supposed to represent that type of figure throughout the story, and did so
Open Document