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Discuss Chaucer's presentation of characters associated with the church Explain you own views of the characters Effects of language and imagery with technique, comment on what the portraits suggest attitude is towards the church in Chaucer's time.

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Introduction

Discuss Chaucer's presentation of characters associated with the church Explain you own views of the characters Effects of language and imagery with technique, comment on what the portraits suggest attitude is towards the church in Chaucer's time. Two Portraits: The Parson The Pardoner The Parson was the only true devout churchman in Chaucer's group; he avoided all the tricks unscrupulous clerics used to get rich, and spends his attention and energy on his parishioners. He is an example of deep Christian goodness. The portrait of The Parson is wholly good, without any such a hint of irony on display elsewhere in the general prologue " A good man was ther of religioun". Around him faith and pastoral care, which should be seen in the church, is failing, but he himself does not appear to falter. ...read more.

Middle

Those priests that are weak surely can't expect ordinary people to remain genuine. The image of the Parson is one of true respectability and of a man who is precisely what God meant for the earth, someone who can be trusted and who is superior to others. The Pardoner is an unpleasant churchman, the opposite of The Parson he earns money by selling "pardons" from Rome, and by letting simple folk see the fake holy relics he carries. The Pardoner is the most controversial of all the pilgrims for four reasons: his work, his sin and greed, his unrepentant pride, and his sexuality. The Pardoner's job of giving people written absolution from sin was a dubious profession in medieval Europe. ...read more.

Conclusion

The presentation of the Pardoner is one of corruption and fraud. The techniques of imagery are used in order to create this representation of a deceitful and malicious man, misleading those who did not know any better. From the portrait of the Pardoner, it is possible to assume that the views of the church in Chaucer's time were mixed and not entirely reliable. The Parson is a trustworthy churchman, whose practises were almost too honourable, and then contrasted with him is the Pardoner, whose ambiguous and flawed church life gave an unreservedly harsh view of how the rest of the church was. These two characters in the general prologue give two opposite ends of the scale views of the church as a whole unit; both characters are unusual. The Parson is exceptionally good, the Pardoner is remarkably disobedient. ...read more.

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