Deception In The Pardoner's Tale Analysis

Decent Essays
Deception in the Pardoner’s Tale
Scheming innocent people for the means of gaining something valuable is something that is displayed in numerous aspects. It is a practice that every society uses against vulnerable people for the prime motive of deceiving them. Deception is a concept that can be revealed in many ways, but one unique tale that accomplishes this idea is “The Pardoner’s Tale”. This tale is told from the view of a conniving pardoner who schemes people for their money. In the tale, he introduces three men who engage themselves on a treacherous path to find Death. In The Canterbury Tales, this specific story is a prime example of how selfish desire can lead to one’s downfall. Through many literary devices, Chaucer is using the role
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Before embarking on a mission to find him, the rioters are warned to “be on [their] guard with such an adversary” and to “be primed to meet him everywhere [they] go” (line 22-23). The author personifies death as a person to make the story more significant by adding extreme emphasis on the word. Death is something that every person is bound to experience, so the fact that the rioters are seeking it means that their lives may indeed end tragically. Though they have no acknowledge of the true misfortunes of death, they still participate in the duty of finding it as though it were a real person. Death is described as having the characteristic of “a privy thief”, which gives it the power to steal the lives of its victims (line 15). Since the rebels do not know that death’s actual role is to take life, this adds satire to the tale because they are putting themselves in an obvious situation. As the rioters proceed with the intention of killing Death, their lives are claimed instead. The fact that the rioters encounter a great sum of money reveals how Death deceived them into falling into its …show more content…
His main role in all of the story is to tell tales such as “The Pardoner’s Tale” so that he can gain money from them. He tells people these tales so that they can confess their sins to him, however, “[his] exclusive purpose is to win and not at all to castigate their sin” (line 81-82). This is dramatic irony because the readers know that the pardoner is only telling his tales because they are part of the game. The people who give him their money for salvation do not know this. The fact that the pardoner is the one to tell this story about this universal theme is situational irony because if he had any goodness to his selfish heart, he could learn from his own story. The tale is about how greediness can lead to one’s own self-destruction, but yet, he continues to scam people for money and the sole purpose of winning. He appears to be holy to others but he is just as wicked as them because “[he] preaches against the very vice [he makes] his living out of, avarice” (line 85-86). He targets people who are weak so that they can believe his lies and be more willing to do anything for their salvation, even if it means giving their last. The author’s decision to allow the pardoner to tell this tale of moral value really issues the role of deception throughout the tale.
Chaucer portrays the role of deception through the prime factors of “The Pardoner 's

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