Essay â€"Compare/Contrast Canterbury Tales

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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The Nun's Priest Tale and The Pardoner's Tale are two Canterbury Tales written by George Chaucer.These two Canterbury Tales have many differences and similarities among each other. When comparing the two, each tale has an irony and moral. However, each irony and moral is different in each case. In The Pardoner's Tale, the irony takes place at the end of the story, in which the reader discovers that death has taken the form of money. In addition, another irony in this tale is the Pardoner who is a hypocrite in his own profession. He admits he is greedy and has a love for both money and power, however he preaches against the very same thing. In the Nun Priest's Tale, the ironies as well as classic allusions lay within the barnyard animals. Although they are animals, they have human characteristics. For example, both Lady Pertelote and Chaunticleer can speak to each other as well as have discussions about divine foreknowledge .The

morals in each story differ as well. In The Pardioner's Tale, the moral is "the love for money is the root of all evil, which can only lead to destruction or death." In The Nun's Priest Tale, the moral is "that dreams can in actuality be a sign of something." Death also exists in each tale. Although death takes different forms in each tale, it is deceiving in both. Death in the Nun's Priest Tale takes the form of a fox who wishes to kill Chaunticleer, and is very deceiving in tricking Chaunticleer that he merely only wishes to hear him sing. Although the fox does catch Chaunticleer, Chaunticleer escapes at the end. Death in the Pardoner's Tale takes the form of money or treasure. However, death does take the form of a person in the beginning of the story. "Upon is bench, face up, dead drunk again. There came a privy thief, they call him Death, Who kills us all round here, and in a breath he speared him through the heart, he never stirred." Although the rioters think they have stumbled on to good fortune, they all die due to their love for money. Another similarity among the two tales is that each is told in third-person. The Priest tells the Nun's Priest Tale while the Pardoner tells The Pardoner's Tale. In addition, in each story there is a caution or forewarning of death. In The Nun's Priest Tale, Chaunticleer has a dream in which he is about to be killed by a beast of some sort, while the gambler forewarns the rioters not to chase after death.