Tuesday night homework – Pardoner’s Prologue and Audrey Santo

Seniors,

Tonight/Wednesday night, take a look at the article from the Worcester Phoenix (The strange case of Audrey Santo) and compare it to the ideas in the Pardoner’s Prologue. (If you don’t have your book with you here’s a link to his prologue.

In a comment on this post address the following questions:

  1. Read through the Pardoner’s Prologue (not the tale). Where do you see evidence of the time period/context influencing what the Pardoner tells the group on this pilgrimage? Do you see any examples of irony or even hypocrisy in his comments?
  2. Compare/contrast the Santo family and the Pardoner. Does the Latin phrase “Radix malorum est cupiditas” apply to both the Pardoner and the Santo family?

As always, cite evidence from the text: (Chaucer p.#), (Barry p.#)

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21 thoughts on “Tuesday night homework – Pardoner’s Prologue and Audrey Santo

  1. The time period and setting influences the Pardoner to tell this group about pilgrimages because it is a very religious time. I’m not saying that there aren’t churches, popes, and strong religious influences now but this was a time where people probably did not have access to schooling or bibles, so they are more likely to fall for these types of cons. This is evident through, “Whoever wears this mitten on his hand will multiply his grain. He sows his land and will come abundant wheats or oats” (Chaucer, 242). This showed that the people listening were not very bright and that the Pardoner was very aware of their religious views and their problems. Examples of hypocrisy that I noticed in this prologue is that the Pardoner starts off his prologue with, “Radix malorum est cupiditas” (Chaucer, 241). which seems to be his motto because the Pardoner recalls it to be his “text”. But as the prologue progresses, he/she admits that he/she makes their living out of avarice, meaning greed for wealth. I am unsure if this is an actual speech that he made or just his thoughts.

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  2. 1) In the prologue, the pardoner speaks mostly about “radix malorum est cupiditas” which means greed is the root of evil. And that always the topic of his sermon. Regarding that time period, many people were catholic, and many believed that the suffering of one is a tragic event but a blessing that God chose that event to bring people together and prayers alive as they we’re continuous. During this time period, people were also very vulnerable and believed many things they thought would be blessings but would actually be tricks made by the pardoner, also known as the con-man. On page 243, he says, “and my antics are a joy to see,” which also explains that he’s an evil man, but who is going to tell him otherwise? He knows no one will find out. Also, on page 244, Chaucer says, “ for though I aka wholly man, don’t think I can’t tell moral tales. I can!”, and I received that as the pardoner believing there is nothing wrong with what he is doing, and that for a con man is really smart. I mean, who wouldn’t think so? He’s unfortunately smart enough to trick his community.
    2) “Greed is the root of evil” applies fully to the pardoner. The pardoner is a bad man and he does not seem to care. The santos family on the other hand cared for their family member. They let God take care of her, and he used that event to present them with blessings and answers to prayers they may have needed at that moment in time. Unlike the pardoner who says “my tongue will be a dagger, no escape” (Chaucer 243), according to telegram.com, Linda santo said, “people need to understand they can’t loose their faith when tragedies like Audrey’s accident happen.”, she thought people had the choice to take it in as a blessing or let it ruin their family. And they chose the blessing. The pardoner is a great example provided to exemplify “radix malorum est cupiditas” as Audrey’s family was not greedy when it came to all the blessings brought to them because of all the prayers.

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  3. Although the evidence clearly points to the Pardoner as proof of the term, “Radix malorum est cupiditas” (otherwise known as, “Greed is the root of all evil”), it can also be used to describe what Linda Santo put her daughter through.
    In regard to the Pardoner’s time, there were many religious influences of which the pardoner used to his advantage. He would sell off bones of animals and call them “relics” to his listeners, profiting in the process. Whereas Linda Santo would (arguably) use her daughter as basically a public statue to supposedly heal other people through her suffering without her daughter’s consent. This is where the “greed” applies, the Pardoner would use the people’s folly to trick them so they would both be happy in the end. Whereas Linda Santo had gained major publicity due to her daughter’s supernatural claims of oil leaks and healing powers.Instances where both the Pardoner and the Santo family become really similar is when Audrey becomes a religious figure and guests begin to take pieces of her carpet and her hair. Not only did the people who visited Audrey gain from her sickness but as did her mother in one way or another (in terms of money or publicity). The key word in the Santo situation is, “Without consent” because Audrey could not speak nor move.

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  4. In the Pardoner’s prologue I can see evidence of the time period when he speaks of wine and religion. He goes around tricking people into buying these relics, religious props, to make money which also is evidence of the time period because now people just put things up for sale on Ebay not while on a pilgrimage. “And then I show to them like precious stones. My long glass cases crammed with rags and bones. For these are relics (so they think)” (Chaucer 347). In the quote when he puts into parenthesis “so they think” that is satiring people ignorance. It’s also irononic that these poor people (I’m assuming) going on the pilgrimage can spend what little money they have on silly objects.
    In both the stories they’re just selling hope. In the Pardoners tale the hope he is selling is fake but hope is hope. He is using peopl’s hopelessness as his paycheck. He has a malicious motivation for selling relics while the Santo’s are more humane. I don’t believe in stealing a young comatose girl’s hair to cure anything but if it gives people hope and happiness then why not? But the pardoner is only doing it for his benefit, the Santo’s believes in all that miracle stuff so they think it’s benfiting other people too. The quote that is translated into “greed is the root of all evil” only applies to the Pardoner because while he pretends to care for people by selling them relics secretly in his head he could care less about them and is laughing at their ignorance.
    The Santo’s family, while still ignorant, is not harmful. The family has good intentions unlike the pardoner.

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  5. 1.) I think whether the author is aware of it or not there will always be some language, actions, themes, or social rules that influence their work. This is apparent even in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. In the section of the book titled the Pardoner’s Prologue the pardoner says “Then, cased in metal, I’ve a shoulder bone,/ Belonging to a sheep, a holy Jew’s,” (Chaucer pg 241). During this time when everyone belonged to a church many would do anything to be closer to god. Con-men like our dear pardoner here picked up on this, and broke the rules to best fit them. The pardoner is going around using a sheep bone as a relic that he says is a bone of Jesus himself. This however is not true. Events like this are still common today, but much more easy to do back then, when there wasn’t a real way to prove the con-men wrong. And back then who would go against anything even said to be holy? This example form the book is an example of irony because the pardoner is presenting himself as a holy helper so to speak, and selling himself to others as a man of God. However the irony in this situation is that nothing he say or does is holy at all, but rather quite sinful.

    2.) From what information I’ve collected about the pardoner so far it seems as though he is more open about his dishonest sins (in addressing the readers anyway). With the Santos family they haven’t said or acted anyway to spark any comments about their family being a fraud. In fact they seem very confident in what they have said and don’t get excessively defensive when opposing opinions or speculations are presented to them. Addressing the saying ‘Radix malorum est cupiditas,” (Chaucer pg 241) translated to “greed is the root of evil”. I think that this quote applies more to the pardoner than the Santos family. The Santos may be displaying their daughter Audrey to pilgrims and visitors alike, but they aren’t doing it for money. The pardoner on the other hand is clearly asking for money in his showcase of holy items for example, ” What! Do you think, as long as I can preach, / And get silver for the things I teach,/ That I will live in poverty, from choice?/ That’s not the counsel of my inner voice!” (Chaucer pg 244). Here the pardoner is saying he is clearly only doing this for the easy money, therefore exemplifying greed which in turn makes him an evil man.

    -Lillian Rae Johnson 🙂

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  6. 1) This certain time period influenced how the Pardoner told his story because during this time, people were very religious. Almost everyone believed in God and had faith in the church. His job was to go around and read people stories and spread certain beliefs. But, he is not as innocent as people percieve him to be. He uses his position in society and all the resources he has to make up all the crazy stories about ancient relics that he supposedly has. An example from the text that shows this is, “Then I bring all my long glass bottles out, cram – full of bones and ragged bits of clout, Relics that are, at least for such are known.” (Chaucer, 59). I chose this quote because it shows that he is lying to people and making them believe that what he has will help them become closer to their religious goals. It was supposed to help bring them closer to Heaven. He is very hypocritical because he is trying to tell people to be truthful to God but he is not being really truthful to the people.
    2) I think that the phrase “Radix malarum eat cupiditas” only applies to the Pardoners prologue. This is because the phrase translates to “Greed is the root of all evil.” The Pardoner used his greed to get money. He gets people to give him money but he does not return it to the church. It is used only for his benefit. He broke rules and twisted them so that it only applied to what he wanted. In the story about the Santos family, I believe that they are not being greedy. This is because they are not using their daughter for fame or money. They don’t advertise her or tell people to come visit because rumors went around that she had magical healing powers. They only let people continue to visit because they truly believed that she would help those that needed it the most. When her mother was in an interview with someone who was filming a documentary on her, the had asked her why she let them do it and she replied with, “We’d like to drop the shades down and have this all for ourselves, but there’s so many people out there who need it” (Barry,4). This shows that they had a deeper meaning into let strangers in their home and looking for answers.

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  7. 1.) Reading the Pardoner’s Tale, where there is evidence of time period influencing what the pardoner tells the group on this pilgrimage is in the first sentence when he begins his speech with “My Lords” (Chaucer 300). I say this because this is demonstrating that he is going to talk about religion, which in this time period the audience would be mostly Christian. This is influencing him to talk about god and how he would help the people and there is always a good side to things, being truthful to god. That’s what he is trying to portray, but he his being hypocritical towards what he is saying. I say this because he bluntly accuses himself for doing many wrong doings such as fraud, coveitise and avarice which he stated in line 335 to 420. Which he himself is preaching against to the audience which makes his comments a hypocrisy. He is also taking some sort of pride to what he is saying and the corruption that he is doing. I think he is trying to cover up what he says about himself, confessing, so then he can say that he changed for the better, but he didn’t actually because all he cares about is the money and what he coveitise. He demonstrates this in line 432 to 433 when he syas “But that is not my principal intent, I only preach nothing but for coveitise.” This demonstrates that he was being hypocritical and a lier to the people of the church, not being truthful to them
    2.) The Latin phrase “Radix malorum est cupiditas,” which means greed is the root of evil, applies just to the Pardoner. I say this because this man or “priest” literally said that he loves money and there is nothing better than having money. He told the people of the church to not fall for greed and coveitise which is what he is doing, but he actually believes in what he told the people of the church not to do. He was being very hypocritical and not giving the people is true words and what he felt as a pastor. So he uses all the resources, and power as a priest to take advantage of these people for his conveitise which is to fill up his greed with money. The Santo Family was different in my opinion. I say this because they had an ill daughter who was suffering, but they actually believed that she had magical healing powers from all the rumors that have been said. The family did not take advantage of their daughter since they always supported her, but they felt that her gift should be spread to help others, not just themselves. They mother stated “we’d like to drop the shades down and have this all for ourselves, but there’s so many people out there who need it,”(Barry 4). This demonstrates that they did believe in the magical powers their daughter had and if its true, it should help many ill people even though she is suffering.

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  8. 1.) Evidence of this time period is their lack of knowledge of things that seem to be common sense to everyone nowadays. The Pardoner is able to trick so many people into buying his “religious” bones and water because they don’t know any better. These people will do anything to have anything that once belong to God because they believe that if will heal them and fulfill what they have been set to look for on their pilgrimage. An example of irony is when the Pardoner claims to have water that will make a husband never mistrust his wife again but he already knew about her sinful life. Even though the husband is aware his wife is not faithful but if she puts this holy water in his broth it will magically make him believe she is faithful despite the fact that he already knows she is not.
    2.) Audrey Santo is girl that can’t help if people believe that she is a shortcut to get to God or his healing. However the Pardoner wanted everyone to believe that not because he knew that it would help but he knew that they would give them money because they had lost hope. The phrase “Radix malorum est cupiditas” does not apply to Audrey Santo because she didn’t pretend to be sick so people would give her money. It’s crazy for people to believe that she has healing powers but that does bot make her evil. However the Pardoners goal is to trick people into giving him money because he is giving them the gift of healing which is evil.

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  9. 1.) There is evidence of the time period when he says ” Radix malorum est cupiditas” which is when he says he knows some latin. Which is between the time periods of 597 A.D. and the 1066. Which was Latin was introduce to the languages that they had. Well the Pardoners says that phrase in Latin to everybody who’s on the pligrimage. He also talks about animals that are around and taking there bones to make them into Relics. Just like it says in The Pardoner Prologue line 23-31. In the prologue he shows hypocrisy because he makes everbody think he’s this holy person but all he’s really there for is for the avarice. He says alot of hypocrisy things on page 243 when he says ” They can go blackberrying, for all I care.” and many more irony and hypocrisy things.
    2.)

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  10. 2.) Well in both people don’t believe in what they hear but then there’s some who do believe in what they hear and think its a miracle to what happen to Audrey and its a blessing of all these possessions that the Pardoner has with him. I think the phrase ” Radix malorum est cupiditas” goes more for The Pardoner because he’s somebody whos greedy and isn’t doing good things and in a religious person eyes he’s doing evil. I don’t think that what happened to Audrey people think of it as something evil I think there’s those who think it’s a miracle and then there’s those who just don’t believe but don’t think of it as something evil.

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  11. 1.) This certain time period was actually perfect for the Pardoner. This was the time period where religion was huge meaning if there was any time he could get away with getting what he wanted by speaking/using religion, it would’ve been there. He himself knew that. He says “I preach, as you have heard me say before, and tell a hundred lying mockeries more.”(pg 242). He knew how vulnerable people where at that time and how they basically just wanted to do what was considered to be the “right” thing which was being religious and looking/following God. He also says “I preach for nothing but for greed of gain”(pg243). So, he knew that preaching was the way of getting what he wanted. That was the right way and also the easiest since religion was huge at that time. So, his greed didn’t really cause him a lot of work.
    2.) I won’t really compare Audrey to the Pardoner because of the fact that she was pretty much disabled in most aspects. Most people would say that her family doesn’t compare but I think they do. The pardoner says “Radix malorum est cupiditas” which we know is the Latin phrase for greed is the root of all evil and I will have to say I believe this does connect to Audrey’s family. I think they used her condition and what they believed was going on in their home to get the publicity that they got. I don’t think they were as holy as they came off to be. In the article, I saw that basically all of it had to do with religion which does compare to the Pardoner’s time period but, I also read about them doing something in their home which “breaks the baseline Catholic rules.” I do think Audrey’s family was all for her but they were also for what she did for them which was .. bringing them a lot of publicity.

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  12. 1)The time period of this writing is a time around the 1300’s to 1400’s because this was written in standardized English and also this was around the time that many people were catholic. The context of his whole sermon is about greed, he even says it himself saying “The curse of avarice and cupidity is all my sermon, for it frees the pelf” (Chaucer pg 261). The words avarice and cupidity both have the same meaning of greed and the word pelf means to gain money through dishonest ways. Which is irony because he is preaching to people about greed and gains through dishonesty while at the same time he is being dishonest and greedy by taking there money for the “church”.

    2) The pardoner’s and Santo family stories are very in my opinion. The pardoner was a greedy person and deceiving person, while the Santo family truly believed that the things that were happening were nothing short of miraculous. The pardoner would say that he would help you but not without a fee and the santo family believe that there daughter was a “victim soul” that would take away the pain and sickness from people. I dont think that the phrase “Radix malorum est cupiditas” apply to both the pardoner and the santo family, it only applies to the pardoner because all of his purposes were for his own benefit.

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    • 1) In the beginning the Pardoner tells “That no man be so bold, though priest or clerk,
      As to obstruct me in Christ’s holy work.” (Line 339-340) yet a couple lines down he talking about the tricks he plays on people. “For these are relics (so they think). And set – In metal I’ve a shoulderbone I let – Them see, from the sheep of a holy Jew.” (Lines 349-351) this means that the Pardoner is lying to the people of how his relics are not real they are told as a lie. And yet in the beginning he made himself to be high of status similar as a priest or clerk, where no one gets to prove him wrong. Further down the Pardoner talks about adultery and how the relic can make their spouse forget about it, And nevermore shall he mistrust his wife, – Despite the truth about her sinful life, – With even priests as lovers, two or three.” (Lines 369-371) He even goes to the extent of saying “With even priest as lovers, two or three”. A few lines after the Pardoner says that a relic should not benefit those who done bad “Such folk shall have no power and no grace – To offer to my relics in this place.” ( Lines 383-384). And near the end the “Pardoner says I won’t be begging idly, they’ll be giving. Apostles I’ll not try to counterfeit;” (Lines 456-457) yet right before he said that he lies about his relics and abuses his own power as a Pardoner.

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      • 2) The phrase “Radix malorum est cupiditas” undoubtedly matches up with the Pardoner, this is due to the overall theme or message that is conveyed throughout the prologue which is how he is influenced by money. He is not truthful through his actions of making up relics, creating ideas that make the Pardoner a bigger figure than the people. And he does this with money. For the Santo family I do see both sides of how people feel on the topic. Johnny for example wrote how the Mother could of use that situation for fame or possibly money. Yet then people say there was no harm done and it was out of the goodness for the people. Yet at the same time just because the people benefit does not make it good, people are using a girl who is unable to speak or move to their own benefit. Instead of thinking about the girl they are thinking about them selves, taking pieces of carpet, her hair, etc. The public is being greedy.

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  13. 2.) Audrey Santo’s story and the Pardoner’s prologue do compare a lot though. These were both times where people where looking for God. When it came to the Pardoner, people believed in everything he said just because he called himself a preacher. In Audrey’s situation, people saw what was going on and wanted to see miracles happen. The Pardoner himself says that what he was doing was all a lie so how do we know for sure what Audrey’s family was doing was so genuine? The more good they said, the more publicity Audrey’s story and her family got. It could go either way. Miracles happen every day.

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  14. 1. The Pardoner has a very twisted sense of how he wants to find a way to make up for his past wrongs by making fun of other people who do the same exact things. It’s a very interesting way to try and right the wrongs by saying that he wants people to be good, but he wants to save his own arse in the process.
    That shows his hypocrisy by saying that he will do anything to stay and live, but he also has these ways of trying to get people to understand that if you want to have forgiveness, you have to make it right, not by going on a journey to a church just because a priest told you to. These points really characterise really how Catholicism has evolved from a small cult to this huge religious hierarchy that ultimately have power over how European nations to make sure that they do not get challenged by the state itself.
    2. They compare a good deal to each other because the fact that she almost died shows how willing people are quick to judge that it is because of God, since science could not answer the question of how she was able to come back to life. The Pardoner has a weird sense of wanting to connect to God, but in a way that feels that it is natural, not controlled by a cleric bureaucracy that tells people that if they go on pilgrimages, then those people will be redeemed for all of their sins. It can apply to both of them because it is possible that the Pardoner only wants money for himself and the Santo family probably on became Catholics because they did not want the town to label them as deviants.

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  15. if you look strictly at the religious happenings at that time there was a lot of claimed preachers spreading the word of “God’. all you had to do was get up and start speaking to the people and some would listen. if you called yourself a man of the lord more people would listen. religion at the time was big and respected so if you were a priest or someone of respected power religiously people would listen and buy into everything you would say. the pardoner understood this and he also understood that he could make a prophet out of people by sounding smart and wording the word that everyone new differently to make him sound intelligent and a man who knows what he is talking about. when you start your conversation or speech talking about something especially the phrase ” greed is the root of evil” and then your actions don’t live what you’ve been preaching everything you say becomes a hypocrisy. you become a hypocrite so in my opinion his whole speech or preaching is hypocritical because if you say something and do another people aren’t going to follow what you tell them there going to see it as hypocrisy and not just that part everything you say becomes hypocritical. theres a saying that says live what you preach and clearly he doesn’t follow that because he lied and scammed people to become rich his greed led him to lie steal and cheat if i’m not mistaken all those are evils that were guided by his greed.

    you can argue this many ways and its all opinion when you talk about the santos family. my opinion is that the mother started becoming greedy she let herself get overtook by the popularity that the daughter caused her and like my classmate johnny was saying he key word is consent because it is she didn’t know for sure that her daughter was a healing product she just went with it and if it wasn’t true then she was being a scammer and liar like the pardoner she took the misguidance of others into her own benefit in my opinion she took advantage of something innocent to make a prophet by scamming and making things up like the pardoner selling a non effective product when you know it don’t work. to answer the question in my opinion the phrase applies to both of them and they are both accountable for being greedy and falling into the hands of evil.

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  16. I honeslty don’t see much irony or hypocrisy In this article, I feel like it’s ok because he’s teaching people to live a good life, that within itself is a good deed. It’s not like it’s hurting the people he is lying to because they don’t even know he is lying.
    As for the other qeustion, the need to have something more is always strong with humans, I don’t exactly consider that evil, greed is natural with humans.

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  17. 1. In The Pardoner’s prologue, I see that the time period where religion is a growing concept in society, and times where missionaries are sent to do their work, influenced the speech the pardoner gives to the pilgrimage. The Pardoner certainly is pulling schemes on the pilgrimage by hypocritically preaching about greed and dishonesty. Since this time period is fairly new to religion, he could’ve used it to his advantage to say what he desires and still have the pilgrimage believe him. It was a small chance that the pilgrimage would question what the pardoner carries for relics to see if they are authentic because of the label he had as a preacher. The prologue says, “That none may have the impudence to irk or hinder me in Christ’s most holy work.” (Chaucer 241). He uses this as protection and this influences him to act the way he does to the people. Irony and hypocrisy is present in the pardoners prologue since The Pardoner preaches about honesty and greed and admits to his own greed and schemes.
    2. The latin line, “Radix malorum est cupiditas” applies to the pardoner because it says greed is the root of evil and his greed for money causes evilness to the pilgrimage, promising them the power of relics but actually has no special value. Nothing but the placebo affect, it is a mind game that the people chose to play which in turn created more greed. The santo family also applied for this latin phrase since the mother was greedy for publicity and allowed the things people did to her daughter. There was no consent given by the unresponsive child who had people constantly invading her privacy. The people who visited her were also greedy for thinking she could face the consequences for them but not thinking about the girl’s condition.

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