Moralism In The Canterbury Tales

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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 Malone states, “The general introduction to the Canterbury Tales is one of the most perfect compositions in the English language””, (Malone ELH, Vol. 13, No. …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

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