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Barrett Great Books 1 Dr Carcache 11 December 2000 The Pardoners Tale Deception and Foolishness There are several types of foolishness being described in the Pardoners Tale itself He describes gluttony in general then specifically wine He talks of gambling taking bets and the like and of swearing The beginning of his tale describes three fools who go foolishly seeking death then find it in a large amount of gold Deception is another topic addressed by the Pardoner He comes right out and says he is a con artist and that he is out to take peoples money In his tale deception by the rioters leads to the death of all three These are good points but there is another deception the Pardoner plays and gets caught His tale is a direct chastisement of the host Harry Bailey who is not pleased by this As a whole Chaucer effectively uses this character of the Pardoner to point out some of the more foolish and deceptive aspects of other characters in the tales as well In the beginning the narrator describes the Pardoner in some quite undesirable terms The Pardoner represents the ugly truth The Knight is grand the Wife is pretty but the Pardoner is downright ugly He is also the only pilgrim to acknowledge his shortcomings He knows he is a con artist and a liar and in his tales prologue he freely admits this in both words and actions The Pardoner then proceeds with the tale itself which is a deception as well In his tale he describes gluttony in detail and defines it as not just overeating but the intense pleasure of doing so He also denounces wine with graphic examples of drunkenness He discusses the negative merits of swearing and cursing Then he closes the tale itself with a condemnation of gambling There are several things going on here The first and most obvious hypocrisy is before telling
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