Essay Response To Chaucer’S Prologue To The Canterbury Tales

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Essay Response to Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbury Tales Although many of the characters in Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbury Tales are portrayed as less than positive, the character of the Pardoner wins the part of the most despicable character. Chaucer uses the characterization of the Pardoner in three ways to show his negative qualities. First Chaucer describes the Pardoner’s appearance in vivid and unsavory detail-a clear reference to the ugly inside. Then Chaucer tells of the Pardoner’s dishonest business dealings. Lastly, Chaucer reveals the Pardoner’s equally dishonest acts in Church. Chaucer’s first clue to his strongly negative view of the Pardoner becomes evident almost immediately by the rather loathsome description of the Pardoner’s outwardly appearance; and appearance which mirrors his inwardly one. In his description Chaucer says, “The Pardoner had hair…hanging down smoothly like a hank of flax/In driblets fell these locks behind his head…/Thinly they fell, like rattails, one by one…/ And he had bulging eyeballs, like a hare.” (446-455)The smooth hair is rather like the smooth and oily manor he must’ve used to trick people into buying his wares. The bulging eyes are a sure sign of greed at the sight of money. Chaucer continues his disapproving characterization of the Pardoner by mentioning the Pardoner’s shady business dealings. The Pardoner preys on the innocent and gullible by selling false religious relics whilst claiming them to be genuine holy artifacts. Additionally, he charges huge sums of money that others couldn’t make in two months. “For in his trunk he had a pillowcase/Which he asserted was Our Lady’s veil…/And with these relics, any time he found/ some poor up-country parson to
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