Theme Of Irony In The Pardoner's Tale

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To fully appreciate the layers of irony in “The Pardoner’s Tale,” you must consider all types of irony. There are three types of irony: verbal irony is when something is said that contradicts the truth, or is the opposite of how the person speaking truly feels, situational irony is when events have an affect on a situation to make the outcome the opposite of what was expected, and dramatic irony is when the significance of actions and doings of the characters in a story are obvious but the characters within the story remain oblivious. Within “The Pardoner's Tale” in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, all types of irony are used throughout the story in order to show society uses deliberate ignorance to justify its wrong doings. Particularly, …show more content…

Being a high ranking member of the church, he teach’s a tale of greed to gain indulgences. The irony in this is the fact that he fuels his own with a lesson on the dangers of greed, “I only preach to satisfy my greed.”(433). In addition, the pardoner’s admittance to his hypocrisy and greed is a form of verbal irony within itself, “Yes, I myself can preach against the vice/ Of avarice that is my own device:/ for though I’m guilty of that very sin”(427-429). Both examples of irony present the pardoner’s knowledge of his wrong doings. However, he still cast a willful blindness to his sins. Within the tale, three friends set off to find and kill death, “With this false traitor death we’ll do away:/ The slayer of so many we shall slay”(699-700). This is a use of dramatic irony as the audience knows that not only can they not kill …show more content…

This is ironic as the pardoner tries to get the group to give him money after telling them how it was all a scam, “My holy pardon saves you from all this:/ If you will offer nobles, sterlings, rings,/ Soome brooches, spoons or other silver things,”(906-908). While he knows that they know his faulsities he deliberately ignores this in order to try and proceed with his con. Another layer of irony in this is that he promises pureness while he himself is not pure, “If you will give. You’ll be as clean and pure/ As when first born.--And, sirs, that’s how I preach.”(914-915). To sum up, Chaucer has littered irony all throughout “The Pardoner’s Tale”: in the prologue, tale, and epilogue. Chaucer has also use three different types of irony within the story: verbal, situational, and dramatic irony. All in all, the irony used was meant to show how society is deliberately ignorant at times for self gain, this is still occuring today as it did during Chaucer's time. In the words of Palpatine, “it’s ironic”(Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the

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