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Analyzing Chaucer's The Pardoner's Tale

            There are so many different ways to interpret and analyze all of the stories in "The Canterbury Tales." Each character is so unique in the way that they tell their story and we find out that who the character truly is shapes the story that he or she tells. While the teller most certainly shapes the tale, the tale can tell us just as much about the teller. When it comes to "The Pardoner's Tale," we can genuinely see how the teller, the Pardoner, shapes the tale in order to share his ideas, emotions, and beliefs with his audience. The Pardoner's true character comes out and is put on full display for not only the audience in the story but the actual readers of "The Canterbury Tales," as well when he tells his story.
             When we are first introduced to the Pardoner in the General Prologue, it is fairly obvious that the narrator is not a huge fan of him. It just seems as though when Chaucer is describing the Pardoner he does so in a very negative and almost sarcastic tone. It even appears as though Chaucer questions the Pardoner's sexuality when he says, "I expect he was a gelding or a mare"" (51). A gelding " is a horse that has been castrated and a mare "is a female horse. It's quite apparent that Chaucer is not only jealous of the fact that the Pardoner makes a good amount of money, but mostly at the way he makes his money. .
             Chaucer describes the way the Pardoner makes his money as "false flattery and tricks" "(53), saying that "he in one day got himself more money than the parson got in two months" "(53). In fact, the only pleasant thing he has to say about the Pardoner is that he is incredibly good at mesmerizing an audience for financial gain, as it is his job to do so. Chaucer says, "But best of all he sang an offertory; For well he knew that when that song was sung he must preach and smooth his tongue to win some silver, as he indeed could do; Therefore he sang the more merrily and the loud"" (53).

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