Examples Of Corruption In Canterbury Tales

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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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