This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Pardoners In The Middle Ages Essay

935 words - 4 pages

Though told by a self-confessed liar and hypocrite, the tale has a
powerful moral and imaginative effect. How far do you agree with this
view of the text?

Chaucer’s pardoner is an enigmatic, paradoxical figure, both
intriguing yet repulsive. From the very beginning of his Prologue the
Pardoner makes no attempts to hide his “ypocrise,” instead taking a
perverse pleasure in the extent of his corruption. As seen in the
portrait of the Monk in The General Prologue, Chaucer allows the
Pardoner to condemn himself. He purposely reveals his methods of
extracting money from” the povereste widwe in a village” his contempt
for his usual audience of “lewed peple” and complete disregard for the
doctrines of the Church. The Pardoner’s blatant hypocrisy is most
evident in the theme of his sermons: “Radix malorum est Cupiditas.”
The irony of this is fully evident when he later announces “I preche
nothing but for coveitise.”

During the Middle Ages pardoners were infamous for being “frauds,
libertines and drunkards” (Charles Moseley). At first glance Chaucer’s
Pardoner seems true to type, he is the one called upon for “som mirthe
or japes,” the worst is immediately expected of him; we see the
“gentils” beg “lat him telle us of no ribaudye.” However, Chaucer’s
pardoner is more psychologically complex. The Pardoner is neither a
preacher nor a priest yet he usurps these roles. Pardoners were
notorious for abusing their positions, mutating the spiritual into the
secular. Nevertheless, he is a magnificent orator, articulate and
intelligent he is able to manipulate his audience, and what is even
more sinister is he knows what kind of effect he can have on people:

“For though myself be a ful vicious man,
A moral tale yet I yow telle kan.”

His tale has a more lasting, profound effect on his audience than that
of the pious Parson, whose sermon only succeeds in boring the
pilgrims, proving that talent does not always rely on faith in one’s
material.

Of course, we have to bear in mind that while the pilgrims hear the
Pardoner’s rhetorical skills we hear Chaucer’s skill as a poet. In his
digression the Pardoner melodramatically denounces a number of sins,
making extensive use of rhetorical devices such as hyperbole, anaphora
and apostrophe:

“ O glotonye, ful of cursednesse!

O cause first of oure confusioun!

O original of oure dampnacioun.”

He seems to use these to involve and unnerve his audience and
effectively keep all eyes on him. He alludes to both the Bible and
classical mythology, citing Biblical prophets, historical figures and
philosophers.

In contrast the tale itself is relatively plainly told and we can
safely assume that the Pardoner is well practiced in the art of
telling this specific tale and even inserts some of his sermon into
it. His sermon is based on several medieval conventions, such as that
of the mysterious old man, whom Dr. McIntyre identifies as a
“representation of the immanence and...

Find Another Essay On Pardoners in the Middle Ages

Life in the Middle Ages Essay

976 words - 4 pages IT WASN’T EASY LIVING IN THE MIDDLE AGES. In the middle ages 400 AD thru 1300 AD, there was a system call the hierarchy. The hierarchy was the feudalism system that was based on mutual obligations.The highest person in the royalty system would be the king, the king has all power and control over everyone. The next in the hierarchy would be the clergy, the clergy is filled with Popes, bishops, archdeacons, abbot, priors, deans, priests, and monk

Fashion in the Middle Ages Essay

1172 words - 5 pages . Medieval clothes provided information about the status of the person wearing them. The clothing and fashion during the medieval era of the Middle Ages was conquered and highly influenced by the Kings and Queens of the era. Only the wealthy could dress in fashionable clothes. The clothes worn with a knight’s suit of armor gave both comfort and protection to the knight. The parts of a medieval knight's suit of armor were a complex series of garments

Women in the Middle Ages

959 words - 4 pages The medieval woman was allowed a larger measure of freedom and status than the usual image we have of the Middle Ages. Women were allowed to own property and inherit from their family. Some women were employed and some were in charge of businesses. Among the upper class, women were as educated as their male counterparts.      In Europe, women were allowed to inherit property from both their fathers and their husbands

Knights in the Middle Ages

1045 words - 5 pages to them by the king. A knight was often a vassal himself; he was given land by a higher ranking person in exchange for his support in battles. The earliest knights where not more than a contracted soldier. After the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe, Europe was in chaos. Wealthy lords would try to win over young men trained in battle by giving them money or war reparations. As the middle ages went on, the lords began to give land to the

Medicine in the Middle Ages

1061 words - 4 pages During the Middle Ages, the difference between what was real and what was paranormal was not always unambiguous. This is especially seen in the perception of the cause of sickness as well as the unintelligible remedies believed to restore the health of suffering patients.The underlying principles of medieval medicine were the four humors: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. The balance of these four allowed for a human's overall well

Entertainment In The Middle Ages

622 words - 2 pages to be fed and receive the gift of clothes. The songs minstrels sang within castle walls were in French and were about knights? honour, love and great battles. Whereas the songs sung outside castle walls were in English and told stories of Robin Hood and were about satires of social positions.Music Main instruments used in the Middle Ages were bells, cornets, harps, viols, rebecs, fiddles and lutes. Dance music was like the Scottish bagpipes. It

Music in The Middle Ages

1621 words - 7 pages pieces of music that have played integral roles during their time are “In Paradisum” (by an anonymous individual) during the middle ages (600-1450), and “Same Love,” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert during the 21st century (2001-2100, specifically released in 2012). These musical pieces, although from two very different spectrums in history, share a few notable similarities, as well as some remarkable differences that embody the

Life In The Middle Ages

1197 words - 5 pages Middle Ages PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1 XXXXXXXXXXXXWestern Humanities HUM 206XXXXXLife in the Middle AgesSome people would like to call "The Middle Ages" something of an exciting or epic time, but for most commoners life was just normal. People in these times spent hours of their day trying to grow food, so they could survive each year. The churches put together feasts for both peasants and royalty to mark the day when harvesting grain and

Medicine In The Middle Ages

726 words - 3 pages Medicine in the middle ages was basic during a time when there were terrible illnesses, limited resources, and lack of medical knowledge. Despite not having access to all the advanced technology, medical knowledge, and amazing resources as we have today, they managed to treat some illnesses and diseases. The physicians were not able to figure out what caused the illnesses. There was not any access to antibiotics in the middle ages, which made

Architecture in the Middle Ages

3398 words - 14 pages Introduction:The "Middle Ages" were considered a very turbulent period of time in the world's history. Civilizations were born and destroyed within these turbulent times. It was, however, a period that saw the beginning of great architectural developments. It was a time of learning and building. Some of the greatest architectural structures in the world were constructed during this time. Many of those structures are still standing today as a

Chilvary in the Middle Ages

1595 words - 6 pages When we think of the word "chivalry," we automatically visualize images of the mythical King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table and images of heavily armored knights rescuing damsels in distress. However, what most people often seem to overlook is that chivalry was a code of conduct specifically designed to accommodate the harsh lifestyle and hierarchical order of society during the Middle Ages. In the minds of medieval aristocrats

Similar Essays

Changes In The Middle Ages Essay

979 words - 4 pages Untitled Changes in the Middle Ages Following the decline of the Roman Empire, began one of the most turbulent times in European history: the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages, commonly known as the Medieval Times, were transformational periods of time for social, political, and economical change in Europe. Throughout the Late Middle Ages, many historical medieval events would lead to massive changes. In the Middle Ages, men were

Prostitution In The Middle Ages Essay

927 words - 4 pages AbstractReligion has a big impact in determining how people should behave and cause no troubles to the others. Education plays a big role in maintaining somehow a protection to the people, especially women. Prostitution has never been something that a country should be proud to have but it surely serves to give security to the well thought-of women in the Middle Ages and nowadays, too.Religion and education have always had an influence on

Torture In The Middle Ages Essay

2139 words - 9 pages today, because they were filled with a deep sense of sin and thus were open to torture” (Thedeus). The Age of Faith is one of the best nicknames for Medieval Times for several reasons. After the fall of Rome, Europe was full of starvation and chaos and the only places that remained somewhat peaceful were the monasteries. The starvation was so great, that there’re even rumors of cannibalism in the Middle Ages. During this time, the Christian

Sports In The Middle Ages Essay

880 words - 4 pages Although the Middle Ages were a time of sadness and war, sports was a way to bring happiness among the people. Sports in the Middle Ages were also dangerous because some of their games were deadly. Knights would prepare for war by having mock battles. By the 11th century, there were different types of Sports in the Middle Ages like Soccer, Archery, Sword Play, Chess, Tennis, Wrestling, Animal Games and Board Games. Tournaments in the Middle Ages