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With reference to the text, what elements of the pardoner's tale make it an appropriate tale for him to tell?

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Introduction

WITH REFERENCE TO THE TEXT, WHAT ELEMENTS OF THE PARDONER'S TALE MAKE IT AN APPROPRIATE TALE FOR HIM TO TELL? There are many connections between the Pardoner's tale and his own character. He too is guilty of many of the sins committed in the story. One wonders whether the Pardoner might actually behave in the same way as the men in the tale. These connections are what make the tale appropriate for the Pardoner to tell it to the Pilgrims. The first obvious connection between the Pardoner and his tale, that makes it appropriate for him to tell, is "avarice" or the greed of money. The Pardoner 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!" In fact, his whole life is based around avarice, as being a Pardoner is more than a job to him, it is a way of life. It seems that he has spent a long time perfecting his preaching techniques of rhetoric to enable him to take as much money from people as possible. He demonstrates his greed for money (and possessions) several times, "I wol have moneie, wolle, chese, and whete,/...of the povereste widwe in a village/ Al sholde hir children sterve for famine." ...read more.

Middle

He wishes he could die but death escapes his. This ironically contrasts with the rioters for whom death is lying in wait. The moral aspect of the tale also is appropriate to the Pardoner's fate at the end of his storytelling. The moral of the tale be interpreted not just as the aforementioned sins lead to death, but also as every person gets what they deserve from life. The rioters in the tale plotted to kill one another so perhaps it was just that they all ended up with the same fate, "anon they stroven bothe two...Thus ended been thise homicides two,/ And eek the false empoisonere also." This moral is also true for the Pardoner, but to a lesser extent. It must be remembered that the Pardoner has told the Pilgrims an awful lot about how greedy he is and how he tricks money out of people, he has even told them one of his sermons. It is this that leads to his downfall with the host when he asks the Pilgrims to give him money so their sins will be absolved. The listener believes that he gets what he deserves when the host replies, "Thou woldest make me kisse thyne olde breech,/ and swere it were a relick of a Seint". The Pardoner is left speechless, for once, and has to suffer the embarrassment of being made to 'kiss and make up' with the host by the knight. ...read more.

Conclusion

He then continues in this brazen manner when he picks on the host specifically and says that he can pay first as he has probably committed the most sins, "I rede that oure Hoost heere shal biginne,/ For he is moot envoluped in sinne". It is when he is refused and made fun of when he realises that he has given away more of himself than he thought he had. The tale is also very brazen, largely through the blasphemy throughout. The revellers constantly perpetrate oral attacks on Christ's body, "That it is grisly for to here he swere./ Oure blissed Lordes body they totere". The shocking way the rioters plan to kill each other is also brazen. They do not feel guilt or remorse about what they want to do; their minds are clear when they make their plots to stab him with a "daggere". In conclusion, I would say that the Pardoner's tale is very appropriate for him. There are many aspects of it that mirror his personality. This makes the tale very interesting as it almost could have happened to the Pardoner himself if he had been in that situation. The tale also gives more away about himself the Pardoner intended. It seems that he did not make the same connections between himself and the story as the listener does. English Vicky Maberley UVI 14th November 2003 page 1 ...read more.

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