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Word Count: 1,112
The Pardoners Tale In Geoffrey Chaucers famous work The Canterbury Tales he points out many inherent flaws of human nature all of which still apply today In the phrase avarice is the root of all evil Hopper 343 one can fail to realize the truth in this timeless statement because of its repetition throughout history Whether applied to the corrupt clergy of Geoffrey Chaucers time selling indulgences or the corrupt televangelists of today auctioning off salvation to those who can afford it this truth never seems to lose its validity Many things have changed since the fourteenth century but humans ability to act foolish is not one of them The best example of this is illustrated in The Pardoners Tale His account of three rioters who set out to conquer Death and instead deliver it upon each other as well as the prologue which precedes the tale reveal the truthfulness of the aforementioned statement as it applies to humanity in general and the Pardoner himself In Chaucers descriptive General Prologue of the characters the Pardoner is described in very unflattering terms Chaucer states that he had hair as yellow as waxHung down thinlyBut sparsely it lay by shreds here and there Hopper 343 Also described in the General Prologue the Pardoner is described as a gelding or a mare Hopper 44 the Pardoner is presented as apparently lacking the male sexual organs that would allow him to assume a straightforward gender identity Patterson 371 The general tone of the description paints a picture of the Pardoner as corrupt and slimy from the very beginning of The Canterbury Tales This image is carried on throughout and proven several times over in his preceding speech and tale Before the Pardoner begins his tale he delivers a sort of disclaimer informing the pilgrims of his practices within the church The Pardoner was an expert at exploiting parishioners guilt for his financial gain He sold them various
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