The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale
About the Pardoner [change]
The Pardoner had hair as yellow as wax which fell on his head smoothly wisp by wisp. He has piercing black eyes and his face was as smooth as he had just shaved. He had a thin and feeble voice yet he was hardly an old spiritual man.
Although the Pardoner was a priest he lived a life that was far from the word of Jesus Christ. He often broke many of the seven deadly sins including greed, gluttony, and pride. He earned a living through preaching and selling fake relics to his supporters. He lies to people and promises them salvation and prosperity for a price. He has even taken money from a poor widow with starving children in order buy himself more luxuries. The tale describes him getting money from the crowd as he cared more about money than a holy life.
The Tale Begins [change]
The host asks the Pardoner to tell a happy story after the sad tale that the Franklin told. The other people object to this and hope that he will tell a tale that is rich in morals.
The tale [change]
He starts his tale by talking about three young men who, like him, do sinful things like drink alcohol and sleep with prostitutes. The Pardoner goes on to talk about the sins of the men in detail especially gambling, drunkenness, and gluttony. These three young men are rioters from the town of Flanders.
One night the three drunken men were at a tavern when they saw a corpse being carried to a grave. They ask who had died and find out it is one of their friends who has been killed by a murderous thief named Death. The three men plan to avenge their friend’s death and kill Death themselves.
On their way to find Death they see an old man that says Death will not take him even in his old age and suffering. The man says that he had left Death under an oak tree and that he was sure to still be there. They run to the tree and instead of seeing Death, they see lots of gold under the tree. They want to bring the gold back under the cover of night so that nobody will think they have stolen it. They are weak and need drinks, so they send the youngest of them to the town.
The remaining two come up with a plan to kill the third when he comes back so that the money could be split between only the two of them. The third man has the same thoughts as the other two and wants to have all of the money for himself. He gets poison and puts it in their drinks and goes back to the tree. At the tree, the two men jump out and kill the third. They then drink in celebration and die from the poison.
In the end, gold was the Death that the old man said was beneath the tree.
The love of money is the root of all evil, but also the devide between right and wrong.
The irony in this story has to do with the person telling it.