Clerical Corruption in Chaucer and Las Casas In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Bartólome de las Casas’ A Short Account of the Destruction of the West Indies, both authors criticize and offer solutions to clerical corruption. Chaucer critiques the clergy through the exhibition of the characters of the Monk, Friar, and Pardoner, while offering solutions by the inclusion of moral clergy men such as the Parson. Las Casas is critical of the behavior of the clergy men, also known as the friars, in his telling of the exploration of the West Indies and offers solutions with explicit desire to act with equality and morality towards the natives. 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 …show more content…
He does not obey his vows in any sense, and is extremely avaricious in his begging. In return for his penance-giving, Chaucer states that the Friar asked for money in return, which breaks his vow of poverty. “He was an easy man in penance-giving, where he could hope to make a decent living...Therefore instead of weeping and prayer, one should give silver for a poor Friar’s care,” (Chaucer 9). As a clergy man, a friar should not be compensated with money for work through the Church as his vows of poverty forbid it. The Friar tends to spend time in the taverns as the narrator states, and he knows each, “innkeeper and barmaid too,” (Chaucer 9). Spending time in taverns conversing and socializing with the workers violates the Friar’s vow of obedience, once again showing the corruption of the clergy in Chaucer’s Canterbury
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When Greed Goes Wrong In the Canterbury Tales the Skipper’s Tale contains Feminism criticism, Historical criticism, and Archetypal criticism. All three tie into the theme of the story which is greed. Greed is well written in many older stories and even newer stories in society.
Chaucer’s gift, The Canterbury Tales continues to give and the reader can derive different ideas and responses, and details for each creative character within the brilliantly raveled and thought out tale. One of Chaucer’s characters The Pardoner possibly holds the most detail and material in his appearance and actions which the reader can easily extract from and respond too which possibly holds importance as they tell the reader certain things about the character. The author’s illustration of The Pardoner begins with the description of his hair from behind as a yellow wax like color, falling in “driblets” behind his back, “Thinly they fell, like rat-tails, on by one” (21). He rode on his mount with his wallet before him and a pillow case crammed with relics such as, The Virgin’s veil, bones of saints, and pieces of The Holy Cross, all tricks and no truth in their supposed identity. This deceiver made more than a parson would from the poor and innocent who fell prey to the con, and “made monkeys of the priest and congregation” (22).
Geoffrey Chaucer presents characters representing a cross-section of Medieval society in the Canterbury Tales. The Wife of Bath, The Friar, and The Knight reveal the conditions of the rising middle class, nobility, and the church in England during the late 1300's. Modern renders continue to study Chaucer's work as the same conditions exist in humans today. The three estates of the Medieval society represented in The Canterbury Tales.
With the exception of the Parson, these pilgrims fall short, suggesting that the moral objectives imposed by Medieval society are unattainable in a corrupt world. Chaucer uses the Parson to illustrate decency in an immoral society. The Parson is a member of the clergy, but unlike the Pardoner, the Summoner, and the Friar, he truly lives in harmony with his own advice. “He was a poor country parson, but rich he was in holy thought and work” (General Prologue 480-481). The Parson believes he cannot leave his parishioners behind, and it is his honorable duty to look after and care for them.
Canterbury Tale is a collection of stories in a story frame. It is a story about thirteen pilgrims traveling together to Canterbury, and they would tell two stories each on the way to the Canterbury and on the way back. Chaucer uses irony, paradox, and hyperbole to provide humor in the story, but he also use these literary devices to illustrate the society during his time period. His use of irony and paradox exposes the weakness of humanity such as their greediness and their foolishness. Ironically, the Pardoner tells a moral story about greedy is the root of evil when everyone knows he is the greediest man of all.
The Parson and The Friar In the story, The Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer, we meet many different characters, two of them being the Friar and the Parson. These two men have very striking differences. Whereas the Parson lives a life of goodwill and consideration, the Friar looks to reap the benefits of anything possible. The Parson gives as much as he can; meanwhile, the Friar acquires whatever is conceivable.
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.
The three characters from the Canterbury tales: the Pardoner, the Wife of Bath, and Walter from the clerk’s tale, all have aspects that are represented in today’s society. The Pardoner’s religious views are still present today. The Wife of Bath’s ethics and the morals of Walter from the Clerk’s Tale are also present. In the Canterbury tales the Pardoner is portrayed as somewhat of a detestable character who has some very unconventional views on sin and religion.
The one to promise the vow of obedience, promises to listen to the word of God, “His brethren did no poaching where he went, for a wido the highest word among them, they vow to oblige the Abbot and elders of the church. The Friar presents himself in a very arrogant way, a very dictative, commanding, yet not-in-charge type, the Friar presents himself as the leader, but the vow dictates that he is not among them regardless, that he is lower than they. The last of the 4 vows that the Friar breaks, is the vow of stability; the pledge to simply stay within members of the community, of the church within the state that they reside in, the Friar breaks this vow very easily by wandering out with his friends on the pilgrimage to Canterbury at St. Augustine, the vow states in a common tone that they must travel alone in the journey, not with outside members of the church. Consequently, within Chaucer’s
Among the pilgrims in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is a wide array of personalities and beliefs. The pilgrims range from ones with little morality to ones with high standard and high morality. Some that are on the pilgrimage who are good people who do as they should, but also some that are knowingly awful. While there are examples of the two extremes, there are also some pilgrims who are in between the good and the bad. These who are stuck in the middle may be honest and respectable people with their concerns in the wrong place.
The most immoral character in The Canterbury Tales is the Friar. Why he is the most immoral is he breaks all of the four vows. The four vows are obedience, chastity, poverty, and stability. In the vow of obedience it says, “Therefore instead of weeping and of prayer one should give silver for a poor friars care (Chaucer 235).” This states that they should pay him instead of him giving the word and love of god.
The second type of criticism of the church Chaucer incorporates is poverty. In the tales the Parson and the Plowman are both portrayed as remarkable and offering men throughout their journeys. An old saying is to always give before you take; in this case both the Parson and Plowman execute this saying to the finest. The example, the Canterbury Tales gives us explains the poverty, goodness, and Chaucer’s views on the Parson himself. He writes, “But kindness to lead people towards heaven, His duty was a good example given” (The Parson in The Canterbury Tales: Geoffrey Chaucer).
In his “The General Prologue” to The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer reveals the true nature of people from every part of medieval society. Through his observations he contrasts those who perform their jobs well with those who do not. Chaucer discovers that no matter what a pilgrim’s social class, it is their professional conduct that defines their moral character. Specifically, he observes the appearance and behaviour of pilgrims for the nobility, clergy and working classes to help him better understand how well they perform their jobs.
In the novel “The Canterbury Tales,” author Geoffrey Chaucer uses a pilgrimage to the grave of a martyr as a frame for his tale. He introduces a multitude of different characters with unique quirks, all from separate walks of life. One of these characters, the Host of the Inn, sets up a storytelling contest in an attempt to keep the entire group entertained. The first two tales that have been examined thus far come from the Pardoner and the Knight. The two tales were vastly separate in terms of morals, motives and entertainment.
Pilgrims are not all great people; some are admirable and hero-like. Pilgrims are thought to be righteous, trust worth characters, yet in Chaucer’s Canterbury Stories, we discover that occasionally the inverse is valid. Chaucer’s poetry is known for including characters who speaks to the greater part of the social classes of his time. He frequently utilized his poetry to remark on issues in society. He composed his stories to incorporate individuals from varying backgrounds.