Compare and Contrast Pardoner's Tale and Wife of Bath

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Amanda Padron
November 19, 2012
Period 2
The Canterbury Tales Essay

Geoffery Chaucer wrote twenty-four tales but the most noticeable of these twenty-four tales are "The Pardoners Tale" and "The Wife Of Baths Tale". The Wife of Bath's Tale" is the more likely candidate to win against "The Pardoner's Tale" in the morality side. The reason her tale has morality is the goodness of the poor and broken. Once her story is near its end and the knight, her protagonist, is face to face with the old woman, the antagonist, the wife's message becomes clear. The very first of her ideas is that gentleness, the most prized quality by the upper class, does not come from the class that someone is born into but rather their choices. In "The Pardoner's Tale" the pardoner sells the church's pardons to people who have sinned and seek absolution. He also preaches against sins, mostly avarice. Ironically, in the prologue to his tale, he admits being guilty of that sin and is quite proud of it. His tale is also about greed; in it, death takes three greedy men to their early graves. The more you compare and contrast them the more you realize they have in common. Both tales scam people out of their money and status, and they both do this through appealing to others guilt. The wife of bath tells her first few husbands how badly they treated her when they were "drunk". While the pardoner gives sermons on how the root of all evil is desire, and since desire is an emotion everyone feels, everyone feels guilty of his allegations. The pardoner never really tried to validate his actions. He did give a short little speech in which he basically said that other people were scamming other people so why not him but that was it. The wife of bath on the other hand gave a huge speech on why what she did was acceptable. So the wife of bath must have felt a little guilt because she felt like she had to defend her actions. Then the wife of bath wins on the fact that deep down she seems to be...
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