The Pardoner's Tale Comparative Essay

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Geoffrey Chaucer, considered one of the greatest English poets in the Middle Ages, composed The Canterbury Tales in the late fourteenth century. In the novel twenty-nine men and women representing all aspects of Medieval society embark on a religious pilgrimage to the cathedral at Canterbury in southeast England. On their journey their host engages them in a storytelling contest with a free meal as the prize upon their return. Chaucer wrote the tales in Middle English, the vernacular of the Medieval period, making his work accessible to all classes of people. The Canterbury Tales depicts the differing levels of society of the Medieval period. The tales with the most notable differences are “The Pardoner’s Tale” and “The Reeve’s Tale.” The former story is about three men consumed by greed, which ultimately leads them to their h. The latter tale is about two clerks who seek revenge on a miller who steals grain from their school. “The Pardoner’s Tale” and “The Reeve’s Tale” drastically differ in their moral themes that depict revenge, sin, and greed. “The Pardoner’s Tale” illustrates the effects of revenge, sin, and greed. A pardoner is a man who sells religious relics of forgiveness to sinners. However, Chaucer’s Pardoner is an untrustworthy character who sells fake tokens for a profit. He boasts of his great ability to preach, and ironically, his favorite topic is greed. “The…show more content…
Each tale reveals moral lessons that attempt to prevent the reader from performing the same mistakes as the character. “The Pardoner’s Tale” and “The Reeve’s Tale” possess similar themes, distinct differences arise in the topics presented in each passage. “The Pardoner’s Tale” and “The Reeve’s Tale” illustrates how greed corrupts men, how sin leads to more sin, and how revenge drives men to undertake foolish feats. The differences between Chaucer’s tales allows for a humorous yet insightful
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