Humor And Myth In Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

Decent Essays
As the story unfolds, the motley crew of pilgrims is on their way to Canterbury. Along the way, the pilgrims are convinced to share their stories in a contest to determine the best story and storyteller. The Host recommends the characters tell two stories on the way to Canterbury and then two stories on the return trip. The winner of the best storytelling contest will receive a free dinner at the Inn at the conclusion of their journey. The telling of the tales could be symbolic for admitting sins and clearing their consciences before reaching their destination to fully confess. In the prologue, the Host reels in readers with the bright descriptive details of the characters’ dress, physical appearance and varying personalities. As Kemp …show more content…
He tells the pilgrims that when he preaches, he shows the congregation how important he is by displaying his credentials, his license and his warrant, which the papal issues. His path of self-importance and dishonesty continues on through his tale, with the reference to his glass crammed full to the top with rags and bones. “They pass/For relics with all the people in the place.” (20-21) The Pardoner is not remorseful or interested in absolving sin. He is well aware that the rags and bones are not relics, but useless trinkets. Regardless he takes advantage of the naive people by relieving them of their money in return for these fake relics. The Pardoner shows his corrupt character once more while stating he is simply accepting money for doing nothing, “My mind is fixed on what I stand to win/and not at all upon correcting sin.”(75-76) The Pardoner is proud of his deceitful ways and tells the pilgrims repeatedly during their trip. The Pardoner is by far the most morally and ethically corrupt of all the characters in the …show more content…
According to Vicky Smith,“ the Monk – a male equivalent of the Prioress, he appears rather too keen on good living and the pursuit of pleasure than is appropriate.” (Smith, Vicky. "Chaucer 's Canterbury Tales." The Horn Book Magazine (Boston) 83.2 (2007). Both are evidently self-indulging in their behaviors. During medieval times, Monks were required to submit to living a life of the poor and historically took three vows; the vow to obedience, the vow to chastity, and the vow to poverty. The monk in the Canterbury Tales apparently does not take his vows seriously and does not abide by them. The vow of poverty, most likely taken by this Monk, prohibits owning land or any property, including money, or keepsakes. The Monk not only owned property, he owned the finest property. He willingly, almost admirably admits he loves hunting, living the good life, not working hard and inside the confines of the monastery

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