Hell Bent Holy Man Essay

2004 WordsNov 14, 20149 Pages
Hell Bent Holy Man Religious corruption is nothing new in today’s time. It has been happening from as far back as the Middle Ages and even earlier on. In Chaucer’s the “Canterbury Tales” he presents characters who belonged to the first estate, the nobles, the second estate, the clerical estate and the third estate, the commoners. For each of the estates he presents characters who reflect ideals for the estate or who reflect satirical realities of the estate. One such character was Chaucer’s Friar, who reflects the flawed reality of the clerical estate. The Friar was a religious figure who flourishes off his deceit and his swindling. Instead of living a life of humble poverty, devoting his life for the good of the less fortunate, he seeks his own gain and riches. The Friar is an immoral character that would rather serve those who could help him, than help the needy. Another critic of the medieval clerical estate was John Gower who presents the hypocrisy among the clerical estate, particularly among Friars. Gower like Chaucer, states that Friars promote their own gain by taking advantage of the people they ought to be serving. His portrayal of the Friar confirms Chaucer’s portrayal of the deceitfulness from members of the clerical estate. However, all hope is not lost. Chaucer did include an ideal member of the clerical estate, the Parson. Unlike the Friar, the Parson is a true disciple and follower of the teaching of Jesus. He truly believed that one ought to first live what he was preaching before he taught it. Not much has changed from then to today. Their still exist religious corruption however there also exists true Christians who selflessly seek out the good of others. Quite contrary to today’s social structure, during the medieval period one of the preeminent roles in society was played by the church and its institutions. This order in itself it is a
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