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Compare and Contrast Chaucer’s Presentation of the Monk and the Pardoner

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Compare and Contrast Chaucer's Presentation of the Monk and the Pardoner In the prologue for the Pardoner and the Monk Chaucer satirises both characters, the Monk is only satirised lightly in his choice of vocation, whereas the Pardoner is satirised much more harshly for his morals. As a member of the church, the Monk should devote his time to religious matters, for example coping out the bible by hand. The Monk however is satirised by Chaucer for neglecting his duties, many times in the prologue, "An outridere, that loved venerie,.... Ful many a deyntee hors hadde he in stable" This tells us that he had a lot of horses and loved hunting, not a sport encouraged by the church, in fact banned by them. There is not a direct criticism of the Monk contained within the description of the Monks actions, all it tells us is that Chaucer believes that the his priorities are confused, "And whan he rood, men mighte his briel heere Ginglen in a whistlinge wind als cleere And eek as loude as dooth the chapel belle" This indicates that the bells on his bridle were as attractive to him as the church bells, which were supposed to call him to prayer, this again criticises his actions as a monk not as a person. ...read more.


expensive, he also has a gold pin fastening his hood, which is a fashion statement, not an appropriate type of clothing for a monk. Most people when they think of a monk imagine a pallid faced man with sunken cheeks, as he has not been eating well, however Chaucer describes the Monk in a different way, "He was a lord ful fat and in good point... He was nat plae as a forpined goost. A fat swan loved he best of any roost. This implies that he has tried all the roast not just a swan, which of course was the most expensive roast of all. All these things would have cost money, money that should have been given to the church, however Chaucer leaves the source of the Monk's money ambiguous. Chaucer uses sarcasm to satirise the Monk's views, when the Monk is trying to defend his critical views of Saint Maur and Saint Benet, Chaucer says; "And I seyde his opinion was good" This is an obviously sarcastic remark as to critisies these two saint would have been blasphemy. This use of sarcasm is a lot less brutal than when he is satirising the Pardoner, he does not say that the Monk is morally wrong, but that he is not suited to his job. ...read more.


This is in contrast to the Monk who is never directly criticised as a person just at his poor choice in job. Both the Monk and the Pardoner are satirised, but after reading the Monk's prologue you only feel that he needs a little telling off, whereas the Pardoner should be severely punished for sending so many people to hell. This is what make the Pardoner so despicable. Chaucer's sarcasm is shown by calling the pardoner " gentil" this is similar to the Monk when he says "to been an abbot able" Both of these are ridiculs suggestions as the description after this he describes them both as being either poor at their job or morally devoid. In conclusion the actions and priorites are the only part of the Monk that are saterised, but the Pardoner is saterised for his whole way of life. Perhaps it is worth bearing in mind that out of the four pilgrims who work for the church only the Parson is praised for his work, this could be Chaucer's way of saying that he think the churches method of selecting workers is flawed. Word count = 1227 ?? ?? ?? ?? 3-3 Jeremy Beales ...read more.

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