Canterbury Tales-A personal perspective on the Medieval Christian Church In researching Geoffrey Chaucer’s collection of stories named The Canterbury Tales, an interesting illustration of the Medieval Church becomes evident. A crooked society exists within the corrupt, medieval church community. Not all of the clergy’s intentions were corrupt, but as Chaucer, through his character the Pardoner,so well put it,“Radix malorum est cupiditas”, ( Love of money is the root of all evil). Many corrupted evils, such as greed, drove the clergy to deviate from the spirituality that religion was originated from. At that time, in all levels of society, belief in God or gods was not a matter of choice, it was a matter of fact. Atheism was an alien concept and this is why the church was so powerful. Sometimes, people of the church would take advantage of that power.
Leading a life pleasing God was one of the most significant concerns of the medieval man. The existence of God was never questioned and the one thing that man wanted most was to be with the divine. In order to do this, he had to achieve salvation. The simplest way to achieve salvation was to buy it. The character of the Pardoner is truly one of the books most evil-hearted and despicable, for he is the person who can “sell” salvation. He takes total advantage of his position intimidating people into buying his pardons, indulgences, and holy relics. The Pardoner has no real concern for the sinners, he only wants his money, as shown on page 243, where he says “Out come the pence, and specially for myself, for my exclusive purpose is to win and not at all to castigate their sin. Once dead what matter how their souls may fare? They can go blackberrying for all I care.” The pardoner is the biggest hypocrite in the book because he preaches to follow the path of God, yet he admits that he likes money, rich food, and fine living. After his tale, he also...
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