Title: Ironic Incident in "The Pardoner's Tale".
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a stroke of genius. He uses the religious pilgrimage to bring together an extremely diverse group of people who live in England during the Middle Ages. Through these religious pilgrims, Chaucer provides an insight into the society of his times. Chaucer brings together all the hypocrisies, virtues, and values of man during this time period with remarkable clarity. Chaucer's art is demonstrated through the use of irony. Each pilgrim tells tales which reveals society and has irony in it. "The Pardoner's Tale" is an ancient tale from the Orient. It is an exemplum. It is filled with ironic incidents. There are three types of irony; verbal irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony. Irony is a contrast between what is stated and what is meant or is a contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. The ironic incidents in "The Pardoner's Tale" were dramatic irony or situational irony. Dramatic irony is a contradiction between what a character thinks and what the reader know to be true. Situational irony is an event that happens that directly contradicts the expectation of the characters. Three incidents in which dramatic or situational irony was displayed in "The Pardoners Tale" were when the three rioters made a pact of faith to kill death, when the three rioters found gold when they expected to find Death, and when the three rioters killed each other. .
An ironic incident in "The Pardoner's Tale" was when the three rioters pledge to kill Death. In the beginning of the tale, the three rioters made a pact of faith to unite together to go and find the murderer, Death. Death had been killing people in the near by town and he had killed one of their acquaintances. They gave each other their solemn promise to kill Death because he was evil. Supposedly friends, these three riotous men fall into avarice and have no loyalty in their word.