Symbolism In The Pardoner's Tale

402 Words2 Pages
“The Pardoner’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer, the three rioters originally planned to travel to kill Death. After traveling less than half a mile, The three rioters met a poor, old man; the old man told them where they could find Death. The three rioters followed his directions and found not Death but a pot of gold coins under a tree. After, discovering the gold coins, they secretly plotted to kill each other, hoping to keep the treasure to only himself. Because of this, the role of the gold coins acted as the source and main cause of their death.

The gold coins symbolized greed and acted as their desire for wealth. When the youngest of them went back to town, the other two plotted to kill him to divide the coins equally: “Then all this money will be ours to spend,/ Divided equally of course, dear friend./
…show more content…
When they found him, they all died because the role of the coins was to be the antagonist that led the three to betray each other for their greed. One evidence was when the youngest of them sought to kill them through poison: “To men in such a state the Devil sends/ Thoughts of this kind, and has full permission/ To lure them on to sorrow and perdition” (Chaucer 130). Another evidence is when Death disguised himself as the coins: “No longer was it Death those fellows sought,/ For they were all so thrilled to see the sight, The florins were so beautiful and bright” (Chaucer 128). At the end of the story, the gold coins send them to death.

In conclusion, the role of the gold coins was being the three’s adversary who led them to betrayal as the story progressed. In the end, all three suffered: “Thus these two murderers received their due,/ So did the treacherous young poisoner too” (Chaucer 131). Outside of the story, the coins’ role was to teach the audience about the dangers of greed; after all, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy
Open Document