Pardoner's Tale

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Dec 1st, 2011
Death. It has many shapes and sizes in books and stories. In Chaucer’s book “The Pardoners Tale,” it takes the shape of an old man. He is very old and weary and seems like a completely innocent character. But, in this tale, he is the cause of three deaths. He is the very embodiment of death itself.

The first clue to the old man’s identity occurs when he provided the rioters with the directions to find Death.
“”Well sirs,” he said, “if it be your design
To find out death, turn up this crooked way
Towards that grove, I left him there today
Under a tree, and there you’ll find him waiting”” 182-185 In this quote the old man knows he is telling the rioters where the gold is. He knows it will turn the rioters against themselves. Once they saw he gold they started plotting to kill each other to take the gold for themselves.

Another clue hinting to you that he is no ordinary old man happens to be when he is talking to the rioters.
“” Not even death, alas, will take my life;
So, like a wrenched prisoner at strife
Within himself, I walk alone and wait
About the earth, which is My mother’s gate
Knock-Knocking with my staff from night to noon
And crying, ““Mother, open to me soon!”” 142-152
In this segment from the story he is saying that he can’t die. But, it also shows that he wants to die. In line 152 he says “Mother, open to me soon!” -152, meaning that he wants to be die and be buried in the earth. Calling the earth his mother.

The final easy-to-see hint is how he changes subject when talking to the rioters. You can clearly see in lines 147-152 that he wants to die. But, when the rioters accuse him of being death or being a spy for death and act like they will kill him he suddenly changes his aim. “See how I wither, Flesh and blood and skin! / Alas! When will these bones be laid to rest?” 154-155. Here is an example of him clearly showing that he is ready for death. “Say where he is or you shall pay for...
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