British Literature (3)
19 December 2012
Representation of a Moral Story
“The Pardoner’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer is a moral story told by the least honored man on a pilgrimage to Canterbury and tells how the love of money is the root of all evil. The purpose of this story is to tell a tale that has an overall life-lesson. This story was told to entertain the pilgrims during their pilgrimage. As a game, each pilgrim had to tell four moral tales during this trip. “The Pardoner’s Tale” represents a morality tale because the plots, the characters, and the settings break down the story to explain the life-lesson that the story is teaching. The different plots of “The Pardoner’s Tale” help to explain why this story is considered a morality tale. The rioters’ plots to kill each other, for the coins, explains why this poem is considered a moral tale when one rioter states, “I’ll up and put my dagger through his back/…then draw your dagger too and do the same/then all this money will be ours to spend/divided equally of course, dear friend” (227-231). All three of the rioters are plotting to kill one another in hopes of keeping the money for themselves. Not only do the schemes in this tale help to clarify the moral message, but so do the individuals featuring in “The Pardoner’s Tale”. The characters in this poem help to demonstrate how the love of money is the root of all evil. The 2 rioters murder the last rioter so that they can split the money between the two of them. According to Chaucer’s poem, “Exactly in the way they’d planned his death/they fell on him and Mason 2
slew him, two to one/…for later on there’ll be the corpse to bury” (281-285), these two rioters demonstrate what the moral message of the poem is. They kill a man who is supposed to split the coins with them so that they would have half of the coins each, instead of a third to split evenly between the three of them. The rioters are not the only...