The Pardoners Tale vs A Simple Plan
Although the settings are very different, one taking place in 14th century Scotland and the other in modern day America, the ideas of both texts are similar, "Radix Natorum est Cupi datas", meaning "greed is the root of all evil". The transformation of The Pardoners Tale into A Simple Plan has allowed Raimi to demonstrate that despite the new values emerging in the new context, the human condition is essentially unchanged as it always remains vulnerable to avarice. Both tales exhibit this idea from different perspectives to relfect the values of their context. The Pardoners Tale reflects a religious society where sin is punished by God whereas A Simple Plan depicts a humanistic focus where sin is punished by the self.
The Catholic Church in Rome was the dominant force in religious life, translating into a strong influence in everyday life. In the Catholic tradition, freedom from sin is obtained through confession, in which the sinner confesses to a priest who then absolves the sin and administers pentinance. However a trade developed in which pardoners would travel the country selling pardons so as to absolve sins for money, this in a more modern context could be similar to door to door salesmen. The pardoner is the protagonist of this tale, and as he protests against greed, he does so for his love of money, in stark contrast of his story. This blatant hypocrisy was a central value in The Pardoners Tale. That this avaricious pardoner should, when asked to tell about "some moral thing", choose a story about money as the root of all evil, speaks of his insincerety and his selfishness. The Pardoners insistence on avarice as the root of all evil has been seen as a cover for his real sins of lechery and carnality.
Chaucer's Pardoner is someone who is at best corrupt, if not downright evil, cautioning against the very thing which he himself is guilty of: love of money. The tale symbolises a wider...
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