The Pardoner 's Tale As Intended By Chaucer Essay

1201 Words May 17th, 2015 5 Pages
Negative Corruption to Positive Reflection: The Pardoner’s Tale as Intended by Chaucer “Radix malorum est Cupiditas.” This is the motto of the Pardoner in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (“The Pardoner’s” 1). This phrase is literally translated as “The root of all evil is cupidity,” which suggests that the Pardoner believes that earthly things such as avarice, gluttony, and lust are the roots of all evil. The Pardoner refers to this motto throughout his tale and uses it to castigate and admonish the characters in his tales. However, Chaucer himself reveals many of his personal beliefs using the Pardoner’s motto and the Pardoner’s own hypocrisy. The Pardoner’s own motto and character as described in his prologue and the story of the “three young revelers” both provide nebulous references to Chaucer’s own ideas (4). By using these references in unison with the words of the Parson, who is considered to be the most reliable narrator in the Canterbury Tales, the reader is able to decipher the tales and advance toward a definite understanding of Chaucer’s overall message. The Pardoner’s tale and the Pardoner himself demonstrate elements of truth in relation to mankind as a whole, but many of these elements of truth are misinterpreted by the Pardoner or have a deeper meaning that the Pardoner and his tale overlook completely. As a prologue to his tale, the Pardoner provides the reader with information about his own character and his beliefs. Before he even begins speaking,…

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