Dramatic Irony In The Canterbury Tales

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Dramatic Irony- irony occurs in a fictional work when the audience / reader or a character knows something that another character does not. The pardoner’s prologue exemplifies dramatic irony within the Pardoner’s preaching regarding evil. ( Chaucer 18, 20, 21,) The pardoner addresses within his sermon the root of all evil is avarice, yet he willingly reveals to the reader his true intent within such declaration was a selfish greed.( Chaucer, 46) Due to his occupation, and previous assertions, his actions are largely unexpected and hypocritical. (Chaucer 25) In addition the old man’s assertion “ you will find him waiting “, in reference to death, is significant as the characters misconstrue this assertion and assume the old man is referencing …show more content…
(Chaucer 185) In addition, upon finding gold, the characters forget about death; this act employs dramatic irony, as the reader is conscience of their plans to kill one another, however the young men are oblivious to the countering parties plots against each other. (Chaucer, 263, 264 273, 274) Thus through the inclusion of this entity, one can identify the dramatic irony evident within this example as the reader is well aware of the tale’s cautionary nature against the wickedness of greed. (Chaucer, 329)

Verbal irony involves the use of a word or phrase that obtains two levels of meaning, oftentimes literal and figurative levels that contradict one another. The pardoner’s tale exemplifies verbal irony as demonstrated in lines 216-217”
Trust me,' the other said, you needn't doubt my word. I wont betray you. I'll be true.'" (Chaucer, 216-217) The rioter is telling his companion that he would not betray him, however he plotting to kill the youngest rioter in this tale, whom he
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The pardoner’s prologue exemplifies situational irony within the inclusion of the phrase “ In church he was a noble ecclesiast’ (Chaucer 141)” The Pardoner is allegedly a holy man, however his actions contradict such nature. The Pardoner exemplifies situational irony through his dishonest character. He steals from the church constantly. ‘…with others I have power to win them from it, I can bring them to repent…’ (Chaucer 151). Essentially the Pardoner tricks his parishioners into purchasing pardons in an attempt to pocket the money such pardons acquire. In addition it is mentioned “He uses his talent of thinking on his feet and coming up with great biblical stories to earn money, ‘A yokel mind loves stories of old, being the kind it can repeat and hold…’ (Chaucer 152) Due to the inherent trust parishioner’s have within their preacher, it is ironic that he chooses to create faith based lies in order to instruct or deceive his audience. (Chaucer 152) The act creating such imaginings is largely unexpected by reader as it illustrates the corruption evident within his profession, as well as individual character. Finally, situational irony is employed within the three men's mission to kill Death and the agreements they came to prior to their journey. (Chaucer 121-124) They promise to battle and perish for each other. The ironic feature in this tale is the conclusion

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