Pardoner's Tale

Topics: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Pages: 3 (1181 words) Published: January 3, 2008
"But let me briefly make my purpose plain; I preach for nothing but for greed of grain and use the same old text, as bold as brass, the root of evil is desire." (Pardoner's Tale, 1-5, p. 129)
In the narrative poem "Pardoner's Tale" the author Geoffrey Chaucer warns his audience the dangers of evil, greed, and desire. The short excerpt from the story above is true because all evil actions committed by criminals are done because of avarice or desire for something better than what they have. A great example of evil can be read in the epic tale of "Beowulf". The monstrous being Grendel, who plays one of the evil characters in the story, kills and feast upon the blood of humans because he has a desire to be fully human. In the Pardoner's Tale Chaucer's three main characters can fall under the category of evil because they all have the desire of greed and are willing to kill each other for money. Avaricious is defined as "immoderately desirous of wealth or gain; greedy." (American Heritage Dictionary) In Chaucer's tale the three main characters all have avarice or a desire for a better life. The question is what exactly makes these characters evil? What actions have they done that guarantee that their souls are condemned? Well through careful analyzation the answer can be found easily.

So what makes the three main characters in Pardoner's Tale evil? Well lets analyze the youngest of the three men.
"And so the Fiend, our common enemy, was given power
To put it in his thought that there was always poison to be
Bought and that with poison he could kill his friends."(Elements of Literature 238-240, p. 135)

In the story the youngest of the three is manipulated by the devil to kill his friends for money that could have easily been divided amongst all three of the men. But the youngest avarice for wealth and fame was seen by the devil and the character then was basically possessed by the devil and forced to poison the drinks of his comrades. The youngest...

Cited: Holt, Ryhnhert, and Winston. Elements of Literature: Pardoner 's Tale A Harcourt Education Company, 2003
Houghton Mifflin Company. American Heritage Dictionary. InfoSoft International, Inc, 1994
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