Positive Reflection: The Pardoner In Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'
From this point forward the reader can discern that the Pardoner is not a reliable narrator and is not someone whose morals can be trusted. The Pardoner also often shapes his teachings around his own beliefs, which is dangerous because many of his beliefs are flawed. The Pardoner’s motto, “Radix malorum est Cupiditas,” is a prime example of this (1). He teaches that the root of all evil is earthly things, and he later misinterprets passages in the Bible to support these teachings (2). Avarice, gluttony, and lust are definitely evils that everyone faces, but they are not the root of evil as suggested by the Pardoner. Another matter that the Pardoner describes in detail in his prologue is his own hypocrisy. He states that “Yes, I myself can preach against the vice / Of avarice that is my own device; / For though I’m guilty of that very sin…” (2). He also describes how he purchases and consumes large amounts of wine using the money that he collects from a person such as a poor widow prior to condemning gluttony and drunkenness in his actual tale (2). While all of this detail may seem to concern the Pardoner only, it is actually a message that Chaucer wants the reader to derive from the story. These details may only appear to be describing the Pardoner