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The Pardoner's Tale

Cantebury Tales presentation by: Catherine, Daniel, Alex, Jose, and Victor
by

Victor Beck

on 31 October 2012

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Transcript of The Pardoner's Tale

The Pardoner's Tale Literary Genre The genre of the Pardoner's tale is a sermon. The Pardoner uses the story of the greedy boys to convey a moral. Through the story, the Pardoner is able to show the sinfulness of greed. He uses this story to preach to his listeners, causing them to feel bad for their own greediness. The Pardoner uses stories like this one to "guilt trip" his congregation. He uses this form of preaching, not because it is most effective for conveying God's message, but because it helps him achieve his true goal. He is quite hypocritical, because he points out that he does this so that they will ultimately be influenced to pay for his relics, thus fulfilling his own greediness. Literary Devices Chaucer uses several prominent literary devices in the Pardoner's Tale. Among these, the Pardoner primarily uses Imagery and Allusion to convey the meaning of his tale. Through these two devices, the Pardoner is able to enrich the tale, and the links to biblical times give it more validation to those in his congregation. Allusions Adam & Eve The Pardoner alludes to the sin of Adam and Eve in lines 216-223. "Corrupt was all this world with gluttony! Adam our father, and his wife also, from Paradise to labour and to woe were driven for that vice, no doubt; indeed the while that Adam fasted, as I read, he was in Paradise; but then when he ate of the fruit forbidden of the tree, anon he was cast out to woe and pain." The Pardoner links the sin of greediness to the fall of man. This makes the impact of the story even more influential for those in his congregation. Swearing The Pardoner also alludes to the God's commandment of no blasphemy or swearing in the bible. Lines 345-350 "The High God did forbid swearing at all, as witness Matthew; but in especial of swearing says the holy Jeremiah, "Thou shalt not swear in vain, to be a liar, but swear in judgment and in righteousness"; but idle swearing is a wickedness." The Pardoner continues to condemn sinning in order to make his listeners feel guilty. The more guilty they feel, the more relics they will pay for, and ultimately the more money in his pocket. Imagery The Pardoner uses imagery to display the extreme gluttony expressed by the three boys. Lines 238-247 "When man so guzzles of the white and red that of his own throat makes he his privy, because of this cursed superfluity. The apostle, weeping, says most piteously: "For many walk, of whom I've told you, aye, weeping I tell you once again they're dross, for they are foes of Christ and of the Cross, whose end is death, whose belly is their god." O gut! O belly! O you stinking cod, filled full of dung, with all corruption found!" The Pardoner uses these lines to grotesquely show the gluttony the boys indulge themselves in. Comparison to Other Tales Compared to the other tales, the Pardoner's tale reveals perhaps the most about its teller. The Pardoner constantly refers to himself and uses the tale as a type of confession, although he does not seem to express desire to change or guilt for his previous sin. Prior to the tale itself, the Pardoner spends time boasting his achievement as a pastor and public speaker. Although he speaks of greed, he also talks of the wealth he accumulates from his sale of relics. The tale itself is not far from the recurring themes of depression and sin of the other tales. Although the host asks for a joyful tale from the Pardoner, the Pardoner submits to the requests of the others asking for a tale with a moral. This tale is also different because of the way he confronts the host after telling it. He offers Chaucer to kiss his relics in order to achieve salvation. This is something that greatly repulses Chaucer, and he quickly refuses. Historical Context The Pardoner's tale is greatly influenced by the Medieval historical period. During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church became very corrupt because of its own greed. By sending out pardoners, the Church was able to accumulate great revenue from the sale of relics and pardons. Sins such as drunkenness, gambling, and swearing were running rampant during this time, and people thought they could achieve salvation through the purchase of relics and pardons. This gave the Catholic Church a great deal of power, but resulted in them being recognized as very corrupt and completely unaligned with the faith they were supposed to be preaching. The Pardoner is an example of a relic salesman sent out by the Church, which shows furthermore how corrupt the church had become. To cheer up the pilgrims from the previous story told as suggested by the Host
Pilgrims wanted to hear a moral story
Pardoner sees this as the perfect opportunity to turn the tale into a sermon and then ask for donations
Preaches that “greed is the root of all evil”
Sin of Avarice is another center of the story
To preach of sins like drunkenness, gluttony, swearing, and gambling as well
Regularly gives similar sermon to his congregation so he must feel that it is an important topic
Hypocritically preaches about the sin that he continually consumes himself in
Uses fake relics at the end of his sermon/story to get money
During the tale he goes on tirades to get his religious morals across to the pilgrims Why the Character told this Tale At the beginning of the book the narrator compares the pardoner to a homosexual because of his high voice (High voice to that of a goat)
Chaucer feels the same about The Pardoner as the public does but he accredits him to being able to tell stories, to preach and to sing well
Chaucer must feel that the Pardoner can contribute to the faiths of others, even though he is hypocritical, because Chaucer allows him to tell the tale and sermonize at the same time Chaucer’s Opinion of The Pardoner Lay officer of the Church
Preaches for money, not for sins
Before he went on the pilgrimage, he had been a part of the court of Rome
He travels with the Summoner who has similar interests
Manipulates the poor and cheats people by selling indulgences and fake relics
Only interested in personal gain
The Church itself and churchgoers altogether despise The Pardoner and his selfish actions
He is described as very scrawny and shifty Description of Character Modern Rendition Once upon at time there were three young boys named Himble, Bimble and Thimble. These boys were the some of the craziest around and would always yell in class, color outside the lines, and drink far too much soda. These were all seen as horrible choices and therefore the three were viewed as a wild and sinful bunch. Although their teacher had told them multiple times not to do these things, the boys would never listen... One day, when the three boys were all jacked up on Mountain Dew, they heard a story of how one of their good friends had been beat up by the school bully Tremble. The boys decide that this cannot stand, and because they are already bouncing off the walls with energy, they decide to pursue Tremble and put an end to his bullying once and for all! The boys go searching from classroom to classroom, but they have no luck. Just as their sugar high begins to run out, they come across a creepy old teacher none of them have seen before. Bimble decides to step up and ask the teacher where they could possibly find their bully, Tremble. The old creepy teacher replies that they can find him underneath the slide on the playground. The boys then leave to find Tremble. As they head out the door, Thimble turns to thank the old man, but he has mysteriously vanished... When they boys reach the play scape, they look around but cannot find the bully. As Himble searches behind the slide he cries out "Hey guys check this out!." There at Himble's feet at the base of the slide lay a huge pile of candy! The boys jump for joy and run around like crazy now that they have a means of restoring their sugar highs. The boys decide they will take the candy at night so that they will not be seen by the true owner of the candy. In order to last them through the night, the boys draw straws and determine who should go home to get them some fruit snacks so that they won't be starving till midnight. Himble draws the shortest straw, and leaves Thimble and Bimble to go grab some snacks. While Bimble is gone, Thimble and Himble devise a plan so that they can take out Bimble, and steal more candy for themselves. They plan to lock Bimble in the nearby dollhouse, where he will surely not survive the wrath of the dozens of crazed little girls the next day. They do not know however, that Bimble has made a plan to take them out as well. Bimble decides to place a few spicy peppers in two of the fruit snack pouches so he can get rid of Thimble and Himble, saving all of the candy for himself. Bimble believes this to be an ingenious plan, and returns to the other two boys with a slight smirk on his face. He screams and cries however, when the boys grab him and force him into the dollhouse on the other side of the playground. When Thimble and Himble go to steal the candy, they eat the peppers and run home crying with their mouths on fire. Thus the story ends with none of the boys getting the candy, and still no one has dealt with the bully Tremble. THE END!
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