The Friar's Tale

Essay by DanOSU214College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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English 110L

The Friar, in his tale, accuses the Summoner of being in cahoots with the Devil. He opens his tale by strongly condemning a Summoner in his district. The Friar says of this Summoner, "To give the man his due and not to skimp, he was a thief, a summoner, and a Pimp". The Friar accuses him of blackmail and bribery along with many other sinful charges. However the most serious criticism comes when he tells a story of the Summoner and his meeting with a Devil.

The Friar tells a story of how the Summoner decides to make a pact with the Devil. The two set of to see what good Catholics they can Damn. The portrayal of a Summoner so eagerly joining with the "fiend", is one that is meant to cast the whole profession as an evil lot. This is emphasized in there meeting.

The Summoner says he is a bailiff, because according to the Friar, "He did not dare, for very filth and shame, say that he was a Summoner for the name." The Summoner, after finding out the true nature of his "brother", rides on with him to make a profit. The Friar is trying to give Summoners the appearance of being all about money. He accuses them of having no real faith and a total lack of conscience.

The Friar's accusation that the Summoner would knowingly work with the Devil, is possibly the worst insult that could be leveled against an agent of the Church. He depicts the Summoner as a heartless exploiter of the faithful; both hard working and helpless. Though a short tale it is very condemning and critical towards the occupation of Summoner in general. Claiming that they extort their living and would...