The Pardoner And The Monk In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

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In the late fourteenth century, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote an incomplete collection of tales told by twenty-nine people on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury, England. These tales have become known as The Canterbury Tales. The group of pilgrims in these tales ranged in rank and nobility as well as personality and occupation. Before commencing on their journey from the Tabard Inn, the Host, Harry Bailey, proposed an idea to make the trip to Canterbury more amusing and enjoyable. His suggestion was each member of the party tells two tales each way on their journey. Two religious members on this pilgrimage were the Pardoner and the Monk. While there were many characters in the story, the role in medieval society, the appearance, and the behavior of the Pardoner and the Monk had many similarities as well as differences. The Monk had a very lavish appearance about him. He was very manly being fat, bald, and greasy with large eyes that rolled in his head. He wore an expensive hooded cope with gray fur on the sleeves and a gold pin with a love knot at the end. This pin indicated the Monk was not religious; therefore, it should have been a rosary. The Pardoner, on the other hand, had a very modest look with no lavishness about it. He wore his long, blonde hair spread over his shoulders with no hood but just a small…show more content…
And yet however guilty of that sin Myself, with others I have power to win
Then from it I can bring them to repent;
But that is not my principal intent. (85-90).
In Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, the Pardoner and the Monk both did not uphold their role in medieval society, nor did they follow the rules. They both lived their lives as they saw fit and put the desires before their duties in the church. Both characters displayed selfishness and dishonesty through their actions as well as their behavior. Moreover, the Pardoner and the Monk shared many similarities and differences throughout the
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