The Canterbury Tales is the story of a group of different people, who are grouped together in their way to pilgrimage. Each of them has some special characters that distinct him/her and are demonstrated through many physical and behavioral traits. The Pardoner is one of them. The author of the Canterbury Tales describes him so well that the reader can easily see the picture of how he looks, and how he behaves. Many ways are used to portray him. The Pardoner's characters are revealed through the description of Chaucer in the general prologue (appearance and thoughts), as well as through the Pardoner's word in the tale prologue, and finally through the tale he tells. .
In the general prologue Chaucer introduces the Pardoner by portraying his physical traits. Since the first lines, the reader feels that the Pardoner is not an amiable person. The words used in the description such as "had hair as yellow as wax"(line 695), "thinly they fell like rattails,"(line 699) "bulging eyeballs like a hare,"(line 704) "small voice a goat has got,"(line 708) inspire a disagreeable person. Chaucer starts criticizing the mission of the Pardoner by joking about the pardons in his wallets that he gives to the sinners: "brimful of pardons come from Rome all hot(line 707)". In addition, Chaucer makes allusion to a sinful character that a man of church should not have by describing the shin of the barber very smooth and by saying "he was a geld or a mare"(line 711). As for the behavior of the Pardoner, Chaucer shows the love of the Pardoner to the money and how he uses tricks to gain money. He pretends possessing some sacred relics: our lady's veil, Saint Peter sail, a glass of bones, that he uses to deceive the simple people and collecting money from them, "and with these relics, anytime he found/ some poor up-country parson to astound/ on one short day, in money down, he drew/ more than the parson in a month or two"(line 721-724).