In The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, one of the many characters, the Pardoner, takes advantage of people’s vices and ignorance, preaching against avarice, a sin which he does not feel guilty of committing. The Pardoner in The Canterbury Tales speaks of greed as “the root of all sin” and of himself as doing “Christ’s holy work”; although, he “practices” avarice himself he has no guilt of his thievery. The Pardoner deceives the towns people by falsifying professionalism by “speak[ing] a few works in Latin” and displaying his “bishop’s seal” on his “license” disguising himself as a trustworthy person.
The Pardoner as viewed by most is a greedy man. He is considered by some the epitome of greedy and a mal-intent. When he is telling his story of the three men who vowed one day to kill Death, and ended up killing each other over money, the Pardoner is inadvertently giving the audience a description of himself. The Pardoner is telling the audience that he is a man driven by greed, but a pure greed he is fearful of turning malicious. The pardoner begins by saying “I preach nothing but for greed of gain and use the same old text, as bold as brass, Radix malorum est cupiditas and thus I preach every vice I make a living out of- avarice…
The Canterbury Tales Analysis At one point in every man’s life greed seems to be a natural characteristic. In the Canterbury Tales: The General Prologue by Geoffrey Chaucer, most of his reoccurring themes seem to be merely just about the Seven Deadly Sins. Focusing specifically on the Physician, he is guilty of greed because of his fine love for material possessions—gold and money. Chaucer first portrays him as an honest man who has given us the impression that he is only trying to help other people; however the tables are turned when he is shown manipulating and false diagnosing his patients for his own benefit.
As a French Proverb states, “greedy eaters dig their graves with their teeth”. People are consumed with wanting more and more rather than knowing what they need in life. The human race constantly carries on this pattern of greed. A theme of greed is shown in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
John Calvin sparked a theological revolution when he introduced the practice of Calvinism during the 14th century. This ideology suggested spiritual predestination: a conclusion that man had already been picked to go to Hell or Heaven before his life had even begun. While only a few are safe from doom, Calvin’s argument established that the majority of mankind comes into this world already wicked. Humans are not born evil, for their brain does not have any type of moral comprehension or cognitive understanding of evil at the beginning. Evil grows as a product of the environment and the choices made by a person to perform wicked acts.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s framed narrative, The Canterbury Tales, follows the tale of twenty-nine extremely different pilgrims making a journey to Canterbury. They are led by a character called the Host, who houses the pilgrims on their first night before their expedition takes place. Along the way, the Host creates a competition to pass the time; he has each of the travelers tell a story, and whoever shares the best story will win a free meal at the end of the pilgrimage. Each individual character telling his or her tale is what makes The Canterbury Tales a framed narrative. The framing of each tale serves as a device to explore the character’s own values and personality.
Geoffrey Chaucer, during the 1300s was a reformist, that being said, he used satire to change the views of the church he wished to reform. Chaucer had an agenda, this agenda was satire, directed to the yokels, the uneducated commoners. He targeted these people by writing in English. His writings were directed to these people because they would be those who were going to question the church. Natural instinct is to take what you know and share it, especially if the information is “juicy”.
Greed is one of the worst things a person can have in his or her characteristics during the Middle Ages. The representation of being greedy made you get looked upon by the people in many bad ways. A good example of this is “The Pardoner's Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer. “The Pardoner's Tale” shows that the idea of not being greedy in order to enhance the characterization of the Pardoner, as he used the church to his advantage to earn money.
The pardoner’s integrity does affect the validity of the lesson he preaches, because of how evil and wrong his morals are. His lesson is greed is the root of all evil, and he proves this lesson well by being evil because how greedy and deceiving he is. He shows how greedy he is by selling people fake relics for money. Here, he explains how he tricks people in devious ways: “And always has been, since I learnt the game, / Old as the hills and fresher than the grass” (Chaucer 241). The word “game” means how he plays people into buying into his trickey and fake relics by persuading innocent people.
The tone of the Pardoner throughout the course of the story presents an image of a man dealing with questions about his faith. In the prologue, the pardoner preaches against sins such as pride, laziness, hypocrisy and dishonesty. A great many people do wrong; taking the easier way out, the Pardoner strives to show them the error of their ways. The pardoner has an attitude of concern; he wants them to be a better people.