Caterbury Tales "The Pardoner"

Essay by Kia_216High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2005

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In the prologue of Caterbury Tales, there were many different characters mentioned. Geoffrey Chaucer had a very unique way of explaining and characterizing each character. He had a way of criticizing each character that covered the criticism with compliments. He showed the good and the bad side of everyone. Chaucer pointed out the many inherited flaws of human nature which still apply today. I was most interested in the way Chaucer described the Pardoner.

In Chaucer's descriptive Prologue of the characters, the Pardoner was described in unflattering terms. Chaucer explains that the pardoner 'had hair as yellow as wax...Hung down thinly...But sparsely it lay, by shreds here and there." This is not a very friendly comment to say about another. Also, Chaucer explains how close the Pardoner keeps his wallet. This shows the Pardoner is very greedy and cons people into collecting money. The tone of these descriptions show the Pardoner is a corrupt person.

Chaucer writes much on the Pardoners appearance. He makes funny comments about the Pardoner by relating characteristics to animals. Chaucer writes, "...He had bulging eyeballs like a hare..., ... He had the same small voice a got has got..., and what I find amusing, ...He was a gelding, or a mare. A gelding is defined as neutering, castration of male animals for the purpose of preventing reproduction or controlling behavior. Horses subjected to this procedure are known as geldings. That last comment shows the Pardoner presented as apparently lacking the male sexual organs.

In the prologue Chaucer also explains what kind of personality the Pardoner has. The prologue reads " his flatteries and prevarication made monkeys of the priest and congregation." These comments show that the Pardoner was a con artist. He would pardon any sin if you paid the right price, no...