Chaucers the pardoner

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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"Chaucer's Pardoner: A Character Sketch" Geoffrey Chaucer was a people watcher. During diplomatic errands throughout Europe, Geoffrey Chaucer learned about the people who surrounded him. This is what made it possible for him to write The Canterbury Tales. The Canterbury Tales were a collection of stories about a group of thirty people who are on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. Chaucer intended that each person tell two tales on the way to Canterbury and two on the way back. This idea made this project much too big for Chaucer to ever be able to finish.

One of Chaucer's characters in the Canterbury Tales was the Pardoner. In the dictionary, a pardoner is a medieval ecclesiastic authorized to raise money for religious works by granting papal indulgences to contributors. In the Middle English dictionary a pardoner was a seller of indulgences, a rascal, or scoundrel. The Pardoner was a scam artist. He sold relics that were just pig bones and the Virgin Mary's veil, which was just a pillowcase.

Before the Canterbury Tales were written, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote all of his view and opinions of each person down in the Prologue. The area of the Prologue that talks about the Pardoner describes him as a man with "hair as yellow as wax, Hangling down smoothly like a hank of flax." The Pardoner had a beautiful singing voice, which he used to his advantage by singing loud and merrily in order to get more money from the people.

The Pardoner tells the tale of three young men drinking at an inn. After learning that someone named Death has killed a friend, the three men decide to find Death and get revenge for their friend. While looking, they come across an old man. They ask the old man if he knows where Death is,