A summary Report on "The Pardoner's Tale" from the Canterbury Tales. Includes interpretation.

Essay by proof_of_deathHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2003

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1) Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Pardoner's Tale," c. 1386

2) Main Characters:

Three Rioters: these are three drunken Flemish boys who are also obviously very greedy.

Old man: no one is really sure who he is. Some say he is just an old man and he is not important to the story. However, he could also be either death or the devil, either one luring the boys into their demise.

3) Setting/Significance: Bar in Flanders, and a tree in the grove, undertone of Black Death / use of the bar for the sins (gluttony, drunkenness, gambling, etc.) that are usually attributed to such a place. The background of the Black Death adds to the sense of doom.

4) Point of View / Techniques: Third person point of view with an intrusive narrator. Lecture, homily, parable, dramatic irony.

5) Tone: Lecturing, persuasive, serious, yet ironic. Chaucer shows the Pardoner as a trickster who is testing to see if he can make his audience forget that he told them his relics were fakes.

6) Conflict / Main Events: The three Flemish men are consumed with trying to get as much gold as possible. The two scheme against the other to try and get the gold. The one tries to poison the other two to try and get the gold.

7) Three young Flemish men are sitting in a bar drinking and gambling. Then the pardoner starts talking about the evils of drunkenness, gambling, gluttony, and greed. He starts quoting parts of the Bible where drunkenness has caused trouble. Then he continues with his story. They hear the death toll ring, and find out their friend has died. Therefore, they decide to go find death. While looking for death, they see an old man walking down the road. The old...