Examples Of Greed In The Pardoner's Tale

698 Words3 Pages
Hannah Benson
Mrs. Mullally
English/ Period 7
15 November 2017
The Pardoner’s Hypocritical Tale The Pardoner is a pilgrim in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales who is licensed to sell Church pardons. Because of this job, he constantly deals with others’ money and quickly becomes consumed by it. In the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer makes it very clear that the Pardoner only attempts to “win silver from the crowd” (Chaucer 163). It is very apparent that the Pardoner is greedy, and he does not try to hide this fact. Before the
Pardoner begins to tell his tale, he admits he has fallen under the “curse of avarice and cupidity” (Chaucer 170). The Pardoner knows that he cannot control his greed, and yet, ironically,
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The Pardoner berates the people for their sinfulness, so they’ll be more likely to buy what he is selling. Oftentimes this requires him to be swift of tongue so that he can convince others that their money should be given to him. His persuasion usually takes the form of a story, in which he chooses to “preach and tune his honey tongue” (Chaucer 163). The theme of most of his sermons revolves around the love of money as he tries to convince people that their money will only do them harm. Once the Pardoner has his audience hooked, he offers them either pardons for their sins or fake relics so that he can effectively steal their gold. These relics take many forms, but often times they are the supposed bones of…show more content…
Instead of finding death, they find gold and end up killing each other over it. Their greed leads to their deaths. The Pardoner chooses this story because it “frees the pelf… and specially for [himself]” (Chaucer 170). His audiences do not want to be greedy like the men in the tale so they give the Pardoner their money, thereby freeing the riches as he says. He knows that he preaches “against the very vice [he] makes his living out of- avarice” (Chaucer 170), but because of its effectiveness he continues to preach it. He knows how to trick the people to buy what he is selling which makes them sinful, but also makes him a hypocrite because he is supposed to be this good preacher when he is going against his own words. The Pardoner has a clear knowledge of the irony of his own
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