Canterbury Tales Greed and Equality

Topics: Gender, Woman, Equality Pages: 3 (957 words) Published: February 4, 2014
Geoffrey Chaucer is known as the “Father of English literature”. He wrote The Canterbury Tales, a framed story, which contains many stories within one story. Two of those stories are “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” and “The Pardoner’s Tale”. The theme of “The Pardoner’s Tale”, greed leads to hypocrisy and death, and “The Wife of Bath’s Tale”, women want equality among genders, are similar in the way they reflect the personality of “The Wife of Bath” and “The Pardoner” but, differ in what they suggest about the narrator’s personality or beliefs.

The actions of the three rioters in “The Pardoner’s Tale” helps further characterize the Pardoner. In the tale, the three rioters went to kill Death, but they found an old man wo told them there were florins by a tree. They gave up their quest to find Death and found the florins. The youngest went to get wine and the other two rioters planned to stab the youngest to death, while the youngest plotted to poison the two rioters. In the end, all the rioters died and nobody got the florins (“The Pardoner’s…” 128-133). At the beginning of the tale the rioters are depicted as noble men on a quest to kill Death, towards the end of the story they are portrayed as greedy and malevolent people. The same can be said for the Pardoner. When you first read about him, you think he is a noble man because he is affiliated with the church. When you continue reading you discover he is greedy and malintentioned “And with relics, any time he found some poor up-country parson to astound” (“The Prologue… 115). The reason he tells this story is to get people to repent their sins and make money. Even though he says greed is the ultimate sin, he is the greediest man alive.

The actions of the three rioters reflects the theme of “The Pardoner’s Tale”. The three rioters found out Death killed one of their friends and they “made their bargain, swore with appetite, These three, to live and die for one another as brother-born might swear to...
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