Pardoner’s Tale weekend homework

We’ve met the Pardoner and he’s admitted his own hypocrisy and sketchiness to the group. After reading his tale (the sermon and exemplum), how can you connect the ideas we’ve discussed in class to this guy and his story.

Basically, think of it like this:
At the of his story the Pardoner goes back into “seller” mode. What’s ironic about the Pardoner telling this story, and how could this story work as Chaucer satirizing the church/society of the middle ages?

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18 thoughts on “Pardoner’s Tale weekend homework

  1. The irony that the Pardoner brings to his story is that he is everything that he preaches not do be. He is the embodiment of greed and could very well be the source of gambling. This is because if the people of his time were as gullible as he makes him out to be, then the relics that he sells them would be worth major amounts of money between them. This could lead to bidding wars for the relics and gambling with them on the line as prizes.
    With the ideas discussed in class, this story works as Chaucer satyring the society of the middle ages because he is making fun of how gullible the people are for religious artifacts. He is also making fun of how seriously the churches and it’s members take religion seriously as selling relics is the Pardoner’s main source of money. Connecting back from classes’ PSA and Chaucer, I think that the common theme is to relieve some of the seriousness of certain situations in means of comedy. The fake PSAs’ are similar to Chaucer because of their common play on topics. They make the serious, less serious and make the same points but also using irony in the process. This is shown in The Offices’ PSA when the character had given a “true” fact and told us not to believe everything on the internet. The irony here is that he is on the internet. Whereas Chaucer uses the Pardoner to convey his irony. This is how what we did in class connects to what Chaucer did.

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  2. The irony shown by the Pardoner is very… uncanny; he does not have a drop of shame on his shoulders. He believes this is what he should be doing and the money is the goal. The placebo effect does not only trick the people, but it also tricks his mind. It tricked his mind into thinking that everything will be alright, and that it is too late to go back. He is the symbol of greed, and in which greed is the root of evil, he does it because no one will tell him to not to do it.
    In class we discussed the idea of drinking causing lust, and lust can turn into incest, and gambling turns into fury, as all these things are visible to not be “okay,” he seems to still do it. As it says on page 243 of The Canterbury Tales, “I preach for nothing but for greed of gain, and use the same old text, as bold as brass,” explains that he COULD feel guilty, but he does not because as he said, “Myself with others I have the power to win,” (Chaucer 243). This all ties back to how Chaucer satirized the classified classes in society back then, because back then things were lousy, strict, and too biased to understand other people’ point of views. Everyone based their whole life on religion, as it is not a bad thing, but no one noticed the liars from the reals, which confused everything. Chaucer wanted to portray the fact that, people are smart, brilliant if you may say, in an antagonizing way. As we did our own PSA’s in class, based on whichever section you had, we informed people of what was happening in about 20 seconds, which like what the Pardoner is doing… too bad he’s been lying all along.

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  3. The pardoner tells a story of men looking for death who ultimately find it within their own character which leads to their demise. The pardoner emphasizes the price of greed, and its sovereignty over our morality and good will while ironically being victim to the very avarice he professes to denounce. What is also ironic is how he immediately seeks to make money after telling a story on the negativities of money.
    This story satirizes the Catholic Church principally. The Catholic Church and the congregation represents the three friends seeking to avenge their lost friend, the church is overcome by greed and trickery to only help themselves. This is akin to the fraudulent relics the church sells to trick their congregation out of their money. The “church” knows that if they can trick the other friends they can be rich, in the end both the congregation and the church pay for it with their lives.

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  4. The Pardoners tale connects to what we have been learning in class because it really explains the greed is the root of all evils. In our PSA’s in class we portrayed gluttony, lust, drunkness, and blasphemy which all connect to greed. I think the pardoner is all of that rolled into one man because he sits and preaches about how all those things are sins that God won’t forgot but then he makes money off the stories he tells. In a way this is like the placebo affect because his intentions were awful to start with but in the end the people listening to his preaching are now aware but they also lost money to a scammer. So in the end it’s only half a good outcome.
    Chaucer uses a lot of irony in this tale because the Pardoner is making money off of what he tells people not to do like a total hypocrite. Also why is his name the Pardoner, doesn’t pardon mean to forgive? Why would anyone forgive a man feeding off of others ignorance? Why would God? I think this is where Chaucer satires the church because he shows how messed up and corrupt the whole system is. It doesn’t even come down to God and religion anymore, it comes down to greed.

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  5. The biggest example of irony in the Pardoner’s tale is that he makes a complete hypocrite of himself. His way of living is preaching to people about greed and lying and how they are major sins. But, this is what the pardoner does every single day, he spews lies for money and allows greed to control his mind. I believe this is what Chaucers intention was for the pardoner. He wanted to satire the Church during the Middle Ages by creating a character so controlled by sins he preached against to show that no matter how perfect the Church portrays themselves there are always flaws. Society at this time revolved around the Church. People would do anything to support it or show their following and devotion to God. Much like the PSA’s we did in class the pardoner plays off what people pay attention to and uses it for his gain. In the PSA about swearing that group swore in their presentation because everyone perks an ear up when foul language is being spoken. Overall I think the deeper we get into the Canterbury Tales the more examples of satire and irony we will see, due to Chaucer’s clever and deep observation of life in the Middle Ages.

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  6. The hypocrisy that the Pardoner try’s to sell to these poor credulous people makes him more of a “Radix malorum est cupiditas” (Chaucer p241). Which makes him an person that only wants in life greed money, power, or food by selling these poor people rubbish. In class then PSAs that we did for swearing, lust, gambling, etc. ties in to what the pardoner’s tales talk about for lust it was when one of the guys got so drunk that he slept with his own daughter not knowing until the morning. ” look how the drunken .. was doing” (Chaucer p245). Then for swearing/ blasphemy is the second amendment which is you shouldn’t take gods name in vein “swear not at all” (Chaucer p249). Also for gambling your put to shame and many bad things come with gambling or as bad as gambling as they say in ” Having put gluttony in its … put to shame” (Chaucer p248).
    There’s a lot of PSA’s topics that tie into what the Pardoner preaches to these people, but it seem that everything that he preaches about has happen to him all the relics or placebo have affect not only the people that he tries to sell them to but also to him self they work on. As he tries to sell these to people they affect him because some people figure out that his a scammer and his placebo doesn’t work on them or on him because he’s the true definition of “Radix malorum est cupiditas”.

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  7. According to the Pardoner Tale, what’s ironic about the Pardoner telling this story is that he is a complete hypocrite of what he is saying to himself and to the people of the church. I say this because the pardoner is preaching and telling these stories about being selfish, greedy, lying and saying that they are major sins that no one should do, but he himself is committing these sins. He lies for money, being selfish, just doing everything he does for money, not caring for others feelings and thoughts. He took advantage of the people from the church since he knows they are very religious and how they would do anything for god and the people of the church that work there including the preachers. This is was Chaucer was trying to portray and satire the church/society of the middle ages. He created the Pardoner to show that at this time period, people believed so strong in god they were blinded by the lies that were behind those words that have been preached. Demonstrating that they would do anything to support it and show their love for god. The PSA’s that we did in class (drinking, swearing, sex/lust, gambling etc.), demonstrated this because everyone listened and observed when a sin was committed. Then looking for the good side after just like pardoner preaching about the sins and then saying not do it. As we get deeper into Chaucer’s tales we will find many hypocrisy and irony going on according to the middle ages and how Chaucer interprets it.

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  8. What’s ironic about the Pardoner is the hypocrisy that is shown. The fact that he does every single thing that he preaches about and says shouldn’t be done. The thing that is even greater is that he gets away with it. This is why this story is actually perfect for Chauser to satirize the church/community of the middle ages. It’s basically like this: If the Pardoner is doing it and getting away with it, imagine how many other’s are doing it? So we say the people were vulnerable but in reality, what if they were doing exactly what the Pardoner was doing? The Pardoner got away with what he was doing and seemed like a good person because what’s bad if at the end of the day, something good comes out of it? Because it has to do with God and religion right? The most importing thing in the middle ages. The Pardoner plus everyone else thought this way so, everyone could’ve basically been the Pardoner. I actually think Chauser does use the Pardoner as a representation of everyone. This all connects to the discussions we’ve been having in class because we’ve been talking about all these topics that we see in the Pardoner’s tale. The PSA’s were a representation of basically making fun of serious topics which is what the Pardoner did.

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  9. The ideas we discussed in class were that doing one sin can open doors to different acts of evilness. Which is shown with the Pardoner because he is greedy which makes him lie and still from people who just believing that he is saying. We also discussed that doing one of these things does not only affect the person who does the sinning but the people around them. The Pardoner lies affected a whole group of people because it got in the way of peoples actual healing from God.
    Its ironic for the Pardoner to tell this story because he is the perfect of example of what he tells everyone else not to be. This story works as Chaucer satire because even the person that calms to be so holy and has the needs to get people healed is the one that is unholy and in need of healing the most.

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  10. The Pardoner as everyone knows it is a hypocrite. He preaches about the sins and those who fell under them to be damned yet he himself is the one that strayed toward greed by scamming people for their money. Talking about the relics he has and how they could help anyone with their sins and problems. He takes way too much advantage as someone who works under the church, abusing his title. And this leads to what Chaucer is satirizing, the churches and society of the medieval times. People preach about the rules society should follow such as being kind to one another, not cheating on a loved one, to not drink and to not be gluttonous. Yet the people who preach those things follow victim to their sins as well. Going back to the Pardoner as an example, he talks about greed being the root of evil yet he himself is greedy with money, telling people that the bones he has are that of Jesus’s though in reality is just sheep bones. Finally connecting back to the ideas be discussed in class such as the PSA it was to display the acts of the seven sins that the book portrayed them to be. It gave us insight on how silly they set up the consequences of the sins were and a better understanding of what they were about.

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    • The line “God’s blessed arms! If you play false with me – I’ll stab you with my dagger!'”, (Pg 249) the Pardoner speaks about how tricking someone is bad to the extent of death yet he himself uses fake relics and lies to the people for their money. That is one example of his hypocrisy in his tale. He not only preaches this but also uses God’s name to benefit his ideas and enforce them over the people even more which is a lie and trick within itself, to use God’s name that way.

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  11. Based on page 243, the Pardoner mentions, “I preach for nothing but for greed of gain and use the same old text, as bold as brass.” (Chaucer, 243). Immediately after this line, he mentions Radix malorum est cupiditas which displays a hypocritical type of sense to the Pardoner. Relating back to satire, I think that what Chaucer is trying to get through is that people are using the same old texts with different interpretations to get their point across.

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  12. The Pardoner tells a tale of three men who got too greedy over money and it ended with all of their deaths. I think a part of the story connects to gluttony (eating when you are not suppose too/over-eating) because after the two men kill the one who came back from the town, they drink the wine that he brought for them. Both of those men just commited homicide and now they are almost in a way mocking the dead guys like ‘haha we just killed you and you brought us a treat too you fool!’, but the joke is on them and the wine is poisened. By drinking the wine i think the two men were disrespecting the dead and due to their gluttony, they died.

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  13. The ideas we’ve discussed in class relate to the pardoner and his story because he does the opposite of what he tells people not to do. He lies to people to make his story and his persona so grand and important. He does not feel ashamed for all of his greedy actions. This can connect to the idea of if you complete an ‘evil deed’ and the outcome is good, does that mean it is justified? In this case, he believed it was justified because everybody benefited from it. He is taking all this money and using it for his own good. Nobody is telling him to stop because they are believing everything he says. What’s ironic about the Pardoner’s story is that he is being very hypocritical of himself and the stories he told. One quote from the text that shows this is, “There came a privy thief, they call him Death.”(Chaucer, 268). This quote means that they were basically looking for death. They were greedy and looked for all the greater things they could find and in the end, they found death. Chaucer satirizes the church/society of the middle ages because people would go as far as to using fake relics that they believe is real to help them get closer to their religious goals. These people are very religious and strict about the way to run their society. He is making fun of how seriously people take this topic yet most of the time, it was one big fraud and how people corrupted it.

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  14. This is full of irony since the pardoner is doing what he’s telling people not to do. He tells the story of the three men who die for being greedy for money but yet he goes back to sell relics and makes more money for himself which is greedy. The pardoner says, “I preach for nothing but for greed of gain and use the same old text, as bold as brass.” (Chaucer, 243) He is hypocritical for this since he preaches for his own benefits even though he thinks his actions are justified since everyone is happy with it. This story works for Chaucer’s satire of the churches and society in the middle ages because of the corruption.It shows that life is corrupted and people will do anything for their holiness and for their own benefits in this case, money. The church is being prized but no one realizes what the pardoner is doing. As Johnny said, for the quote above, Chaucer is satirizing the redefined work of the same old text to get something else out of it resulting in greed.

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  15. Continuing from what I was saying before, I thought that is ironic that hist tale told a story about three men who were looking for death actually found death, but not in the way they expected it since they ended up all dead anyways. I say this because since they found gold and money they became greedy and began to kill one another over the money which totally led to their downfall. In the Pardoner’s Tale stated “A pile of golden florins on the ground…No longer was it death those fellows sought, For they were all so thrilled to see the sight,” (Chaucer, pg 253). This demonstrates that they were so greedy that they lost sight of everything that has happened except for the gold. Being greedy is all they know what to do and love. Just like the Pardoner said “And thus I preach against the very vice, I make my living out of-avarice,” (Chaucer pg.243). The cause of their death was from their greed and how they each wanted to kill one another for the money, but death found them at the end instead of them finding death.

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  16. the irony is flat out in your face because he comes out and basically says that everything ive preached against thats who i am hes coming out and just telling the people that he is the very person that he preaches against and he is the very figure of greed and selfishness its hilarious to me the amount of irony and hypocrisy there is at the end of his ” teaching ” or ” preaching ” the funny part about is that he knows the people are going to believe anything he says so he really go’s after gamblers and greedy people he portrays them as so wrong and basically children of the devil and the towards the end he says oh well i am the very thing you guys have been being taught that is really wrong its comical.

    from my perspective the way he makes fun of the church is the example of his life that he preaches one thing and is another and people can be tricked so easily and will listen to anything and believe it. he basically calls the church frauds and makes fun of the people who think the church who say they are and that they trick everyone in society.

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  17. What i find to be ironic in the pardoners tale is he preaches or states that lying and greed is a sin and it is a bad act, whereas he goes back upon his preach and doesn’t practice the same. He played the people from the church assuming they care for their religion and god to hustle money from them for his own safe keepings. This is ironic where his Greed and lies show irony to what he describes to people as a sin.
    Its ironic for him to tell the story because he is the perfect example of what he tells others not to be.

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