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What impression of the pardoner's appearance and character have you received from the portrait, introduction and pardoner's prologue?

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WHAT IMPRESSION OF THE PARDONER'S APPEARANCE AND CHARACTER HAVE YOU RECEIVED FROM THE PORTRAIT, INTRODUCTION AND PARDONER'S PROLOGUE? There are many references to the Pardoner's appearance and character in the portrait, introduction and Pardoner's prologue. Overall, the audience see him as intelligent, good at public speaking and preaching, but immoral, hypocritical, greedy, cruel hearted and patronising, they also are uncertain about his sexuality. I will discuss and analyse these points. The Pardoner's appearance is noticed at once and is extremely unusual. He is called a, "gentil Pardoner", but this is ironic as he is neither "gentil" in personality or appearance. Chaucer describes his harsh features in the Pardoner's Portrait. He has yellow, dry and lifeless hair with sections that have fallen out, "heer as yelow as wex, But smothe it heeng as doth a strike of flex; ...But thin it lay, by colpons oon and oon." The description continues to his other, somewhat repulsive, features, "glaringe eyen hadde he as an hare." ...read more.


I will now examine the Pardoner's character in more detail. The Pardoner is shown to be intelligently immoral and well read at various points throughout the portrait, introduction and Pardoner's prologue. "Upon a day he gat him moore moneye Than that the person gat in monthes tweye" The fact that he is able to earn in one day what a normal person earns in two months shows that the Pardoner must be good at his work, and therefore intelligent enough to dupe people out of their money. He finds it easy to trick "his apes". He plays on people's fears. At the time the Plague was sweeping across Europe and many people were desperate to be "sin-free" so to avoid purgatory when they died. Also, to make sure he is believable he shows the congregation his, "bulles of popes and cardinales" that grant him powers of absolutions. The clever way in which the Pardoner uses rhetoric in his mock sermon also demonstrates his intellect and aptitude for public speaking. ...read more.


In turn, this makes everyone buy a pardon or pay to see a relic so they do not appear to have sinned badly, "If any wight be in this chirche now That hath doon sinne horrible... Swich folk shal have no power ne no grace To offren to relikes in this place." I will now discuss the Pardoner's hypocrisy and greed. The Pardoner is hypocritical throughout. He preaches against the sins he commits himself and he admits to doing so. He preaches against gluttony at a later time in the tale when in the prologue he talks of his own gluttony, whilst actually eating a "cake" and drink a "moiste and corny ale", and taking "chese and whete" instead of money. He preaches against "avarice", whilst openly admitting to the rest of the Pilgrims that he himself is guilty of this sin, "That I wol live in poverte wilfully< Nay, nay, I thoughte it nevere trewely!" English Vicky Maberley LVI 3rd October 2003 page 1 ...read more.

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