• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. Chaucer: Satire And Humor

    His satirical descriptions of the religious pilgrims show that they didn't care for what the church stood for or for what the people believed in, all they cared about was their own personal welfare and self gratification. In a sense, Chaucer is saying that the Church's real foundation was money,

  2. Compare the knight and the Squire as members of Chaucer’s society. What is Chaucer’s ...

    "And wonderful delivere, and of greet strenghte" L. 84 Chaucer writes about the Knight in a good way and portrays him to be a distinguished gentleman.

  1. In the Pardoner's Tale, Chaucer presents the Pardoner in a particular light, and being ...

    The Pardoner is undoubtedly an excellent orator, but this only serves to hide his deceptive nature and to seduce his audience. As saffron is a spice that is usually used for colour, its use here is interesting as it further suggests that using Latin has no deep meaning or purpose but it is used superficially.

  2. Middle ages.

    The ones who own land will have a slightly higher status than those who are just tenants, but they will still generally owe some form of service to their local lord, mostly in the form of labour. Very few people cared about the poor in Medieval England and the lifestyle

  1. "The pilgrims summarise the noblest ideals and the basest practises" Discuss this statement.

    The Summoner is prepared, if adequately bribed, to condone most offences, as he believes money is more important than the excommunication that the courts can give, "purs is the ercedekenes helle." For only a quart of wine he will permit the priests to have a mistress, in fact he will allow almost anything; for the right price!

  2. What impression does The Prologue give you of the Church in Chaucer’s England?

    Church being lacking. Chaucer tells us that this monk is the owner of a fine horse and when he is riding passers-by can hear the chapel bells and the bells on the horse's 'bridel' equally loudly, yet the Monk is infatuated with his hunting and is oblivious to the 'chapel belle' which calls him to prayer.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work