The Hypocrisy In The Pardoner's Prologue And Tale

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Rebellion seldom slips by under the radar. If anyone, anywhere is questioning power, speaking out for what they believe, then people notice. This can most definitely be a positive thing, but it can be negative just as easily. Many people have been struck down for speaking out. But this is not always the case. In the mid to late 14th Century there was an outspoken author who was so brilliant he was able to infiltrate the minds of people on sensitive issues without ever facing the consequences like most people would. His name was Geoffrey Chaucer, and he is the Father of the English language. Without him most of the people in our lives would be speaking a very different language. He was a master of satire, an artist with irony, and in his most …show more content…
One of his biggest problems about it was the hypocrisy, and the Pardoner was a prime example. The Pardoner is a person who forgives people of their sins, in other words gives them a clean slate. This is all fine and dandy, except this Pardoner takes advantage of the poor people to become rich. He says on page 126, line 41, “But let me briefly make my purpose plain; I preach for nothing but for greed or gain and use the same old text as bold as brass Radix malorum est cupiditas and thus I preach against the very vice I make my living out of—avarice”. The Latin he speaks of means Greed is the root of all evil. So this Pardoner preaches to all of the poor people telling them how greed is a bad thing and makes them feel as though they need to rid themselves of their money, and that is how the Pardoner makes his money. The Pardoner then goes on to tell a story where the moral is that greed kills. It is worthwhile to mention that he was drinking as he was giving his prologue. So when he tells his story he sobers up. Then when he finishes, he goes into a big spiel about how all of the members of the trip should repent and give him money, forgetting that he already blew his cover. While this story is entertaining, Chaucer also certainly gets the point of the hypocrisy of the Church across to all those who read …show more content…
He uses what is known as the general prologue for several reasons. To introduce the characters as well as to keep himself out of the line of fire so to speak. He uses his character, the Pardoner, to attack the hypocrisy of the church. Then, using an outgoing woman from Bath he attacks the sacred institution of marriage, otherwise known as the patriarchy. Most of what Chaucer writes we are not allowed to learn for censorship reasons. But it is known that Chaucer see’s wrong in the world and uses these stories to address it. We still study it today, a rebellion that everyone

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