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The Lessons
1. Why are the three rioters looking for Death?
Because they think death is a person.

2. What do they expect to find under the tree, and what do they actually find?
They expect to find death but they find a pot of gold.

3. What happens to the rioters?
They die, and actually find death.

4. Who/what is the Old Man a personification of?
Death

5. How is “The Pardoner’s Tale” a moral tale? What is the moral?
Because the rioters search for death, and find gold. They all die.

Think Critically

6. Why do you think the rioters set out to kill Death? In your answer, consider the following:
a. what they learn from the boy in the bar
b. their views of themselves
c. other factors that may influence their judgment
Because they think death is a person.

7. In what sense is the old man’s statement that the rioters can find death under the oak tree true?

That they will all find death under the tree meaning that they will all die.

8. Why do you think the character of the old man is included in the tale? In your answer, consider the following:
a. the story of his life
b. his views about death
c. his directions for finding death

He is death himself.
9. In light of the Pardoner’s true motives, as revealed in the “Prologue,” why is the moral of this tale ironic?

His telling them money is bad because he wants it for himself using money to get money.

Vocabulary in Action

Exercise A: Context Clues
Fill in each blank with the vocabulary word that best completes the sentence.

10. Filled with distrust, the rioters were ______wary_________ of one another.

11. Did the rioter ___saunter____________ , or did he walk swiftly?

12. Death brought a _______pallor________ to her once-rosy face.

13. Does the Pardoner tell the tale to _______castigate________ sinners?

14. It is hard to _____transcend__________ our sinful impulses, but we should try to move beyond them.

Exercise B: Meaning Clues
Indicate whether each

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