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In the Pardoner's Tale, Chaucer presents the Pardoner in a particular light, and being a religious figure, this allows him to

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Introduction

In the Pardoner's Tale, Chaucer presents the Pardoner in a particular light, and being a religious figure, this allows him to make a general statement about religion at the time. Chaucer's view of the Pardoner as a character, and also as something to epitomise religion at the time, is evident from his use of vocabulary, his style, and by using strong imagery and description. In this way, Chaucer builds the character of the Pardoner as someone who is ironically deceptive and driven by his own selfish motives. A key theme that runs throughout the Pardoner's Prologue is religion, and as the Pardoner's proper role is to act as an intercessor between those who wish to repent and God himself, it is appropriate that Chaucer uses a great deal of religious lexis. There are many examples of this all through the text, such as when he mentions that the Pardoner carries 'Bulles of popes and cardinals' or 'official documents' signed by popes and cardinals. The plural use of the word 'popes' reveals a lot about the Pardoner in that it immediately shows his disregard and contempt for the clergy. ...read more.

Middle

During the previous lines, the Pardoner has professed that he carries a cure for jealousy, though the husband may know of the wife's unfaithfulness and now says even if she had taken two or three priests as lovers. This is expected to produce an outburst of laughter and the Pardoner is played like an expert comedian. He builds up the semantics line by line to keep his audience amused. He does this at the expense of the clergy as he ridicules them, making a mockery of priests by preaching their immorality and not taking their authority seriously. Chaucer makes him look more like an entertainer than a pardoner and this clearly shows his shallow personality. Chaucer uses imagery to good effect to help build the Pardoner's character. These images are simply generated by the use of words with certain connotations. There is an evident cooking theme, though this seems irrelevant at face value, it is ironic that imagery related to cooking has been used, as he has linked this theme to that which the Pardoner introduces, i.e. ...read more.

Conclusion

He mentions that he will earn earn a profit, even if it is at the expense of 'the povereste wydwe in a village, Al sholde hir children sterve for famyne.' This further highlights the principle attribute of the Pardoner and Chaucer does not let his readers forget it as he gives continuous reminders throughout the text. Chaucer is not always so subtle in his presentation of the Pardoner. Near the end of the prologue, the Pardoner boldly asserts that 'though myself be a full vicious man, A moral tale yet I you telle kan.' The pardoner describes himself as we have aready been made to see him by Chaucer's other techniques and here he admits it shamelessly, which only adds to the readers' negative impression of him, in that he is not only deceptive, deceitful and 'vicious' but he also has no regret or remorse for his actions and attitudes, hence he is unlikely to change. It is ironic that the Pardoner admits to this characteristic of his and then claims that he will still be able to tell a moral tale, although his admittance also shows that he is aware of this irony. Explore the Way in which Chaucer Presents the Pardoner ...read more.

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