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The pardoner’s tale 1


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The pardoner’s tale 1

  1. 1. “The Pardoner’s Tale”<br />
  2. 2. Background<br />This tale is based on an Oriental folk-tale<br />Scholars consider “The Pardoner’s Tale” one of the “finest ‘short stories’ ever written”<br />This tale is an exemplum: <br />* Exemplum – A story told to illustrate an intellectual point.<br />The Pardoner is viewed as the most complex figure on the pilgrimage<br />The Pardoner admits to being guilty of all seven deadly sins; however, he can still tell a moral tale and get people to repent<br />
  3. 3. The Pardoner<br />Job: sold pardons and indulgences to those<br /> charged with sins<br />Characteristics:<br /> -Loud high-pitched voice, long flaxen hair, had no beard (and would never have a beard), effeminate characteristics<br /> -Carries relics- crosses<br /> -Rides at the back of the pilgrims<br /> -Untrustworthy<br /> -Looking to “cash in on religion”<br />
  4. 4. “The Prologue”Pgs. 241-244<br />The Pardoner tells the other pilgrims about his style of preaching<br />He uses the same old text he always has:<br />~ Radix malorumestcupiditas-“The love of money is the root of all evil”<br />He states how he shows his bulls and flaunts the Papal seal for his protection<br />The Pardoner tells stories and throws in a little Latin to “spice up” his teachings<br />He goes on to state how he bring out his “relics” and claims that each has special powers<br />
  5. 5. “The Prologue”Pgs. 241-244<br />For example:<br />1) The shoulder bone of a sheep, if dipped in a well and the water consumed, can <br /> ~cure livestock from swelling <br /> ~cure all animals of skin problems<br /> ~multiply the cattle of the owner who drinks from the well<br /> ~cure jealousy in a husband, if broth is made from it<br />2) A glove, if worn by the owner while sowing seeds and if he pays the Pardoner money, can<br /> ~ multiply the grain of the owner <br />The Pardoner says he cannot do anything for truly bad sinners<br />
  6. 6. “The Prologue”Pgs. 241-244<br />However, “good people” can step forward, pay money, and he will shrive them of their sins with the authority given to him by the Pope<br />He states how “That trick’s been worth a hundred marks a year”<br />The Pardoner states how he preaches to the “yokels” and tells lies and mockeries during his sermons<br />When he speaks of Avarice (insatiable greed for riches), & Cupidity, the people pull out their money and give (out of guilt) <br /> ~“For my exclusive purpose is to win <br /> And not at all to castigate their sin.” <br />
  7. 7. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 241-244<br />The Pardoner uses his tongue to get back at those who have hurt his “brethren or me.” <br /> ~ He does not call them by name, but uses enough clues so everyone knows who the person is<br />The Pardoner admits his main purpose is to acquire money:<br /> ~ “I preach for nothing but for greed of gain”<br />He makes his living off the very vice he preaches against –avarice but can still get people to repent (even though that is not his primary goal)<br /> ~ “Covetousness (inordinately or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions) is both the root and stuff of all I preach.”<br />
  8. 8. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 241-244<br />He tells old stories people love to hear<br />The Pardoner states that, as long as he can preach, he will not live in poverty like the old apostles<br />He means to have money and a wench in every town<br />The Pardoner admits he will even take money from the poorest person<br />The Pardoner states he is drunk, but can touch on a moral tale, even though he is a bad person<br />The Pardoner says he will tell a tale that has earned him a lot of money in the past<br />Finally, he asks for silence before he begins<br />
  9. 9. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 244-249<br />
  10. 10. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 244-249<br />The story takes place in the town of Flanders<br />There are three young men who engage in many sins<br />They like to <br />hang out in bars<br />Gamble<br /> eat and drink too much<br />be blasphemous,<br /> and engage in lechery and other excesses<br />~ “Our dear Lord’s body they will rend the tear”<br />The dancing girls add to the gluttony by being the ones to “blow the fires of lechery (excessive indulgence of sexual desire)”<br /> ~ “lust is bred of wine and drunkenness.”<br />The Pardoner pontificates for a while<br />He gives examples about the dangers of drinking too much:<br />
  11. 11. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 244-249<br />1) Lot – The Biblical character who daughters got him drunk and “ground corn” with him<br />2) Herod – The Biblical character who was drunk when he ordered the beheading of John the Baptist<br /> * Seneca says there is no difference between a drunkard and a madman, except that madness lasts longer<br />~ “O gluttony, our first distress!”<br />The Pardoner says it was gluttony that got Adam thrown out of Paradise (again?)<br />He says if we knew all of the problems associated with gluttony, we would be more temperate in our eating and drinking:<br />
  12. 12. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 244-249<br /> ~ “O thou belly! Stinking pod Of dung <br /> and foul corruption, that canst send<br /> Thy filthy music forth at either end,”<br />Some people go to great lengths to eat the best foods and to satisfy a “lascivious appetite.”<br />~ “Be sure a man whom such a fare entices<br /> Is dead indeed, though living in his vices.”<br />Wine has been the cause of many problems<br />* Look at what happened to Sampson<br />~ “Drunkenness is the very sepulchre<br /> Of human judgement and articulation.”<br />
  13. 13. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 244-249<br />The Pardoner says all of the noble acts and great victories in the Old Testament were won in “abstinence” and in “prayer”<br />We are given examples of two people:<br /> 1) Attila the Hun - He died in his sleep<br /> 2) Lemuel- King of Massa whose mother told him kings should not drink for they will forget the law and rob people of justice<br />The Pardoner goes on to talk about the dangers of gambling<br />He says gambling is the cause of many other sins like: lies, stealing, murder, etc. while it ruins your reputation<br />~ “A common gambler is a nasty name.”<br />
  14. 14. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 244-249<br />The Pardoner says a gambler is not fit to be a leader. Examples are given of:<br /> 1) Stilbon – Ambassador from Sparta; he refused to negotiate with gamblers from Corinth<br /> 2) King Demetrius – Given a pair of dice by the king of Parthia (it was to show scorn)<br />The Pardoner goes on to talk about swearing and perjury:<br /> ~ “Look at the third where it is written plain ‘Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain.’ <br /> You see He has forbidden swearing first; Not murder,” <br />
  15. 15. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 244-249<br /> ~ “Vengeance on him and all his house shall fall <br /> That swears outrageously, or swears at all.”<br />The Pardoner says the fruit of gamblers is: <br /> ~ Perjury<br /> ~ Rage<br /> ~ Homicide<br /> (These come about as a product of gambling)<br />
  16. 16. “The Pardoner’s Tale”250-254<br />
  17. 17. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 250-254<br />Finally, the Pardoner gets back to the tale<br />The rioters are in a bar when a funeral procession goes by<br />They ask the tavern-boy to go see who had died; he already knew<br />It was a friend of the rioters who died of the plague last night (many have died in this current outbreak)<br />The rioters are warned by the tavern-boy and the publican to be careful because Death takes anyone at anytime<br />The three rioters make an oath to stick together, be brothers, and to defeat Death<br /> * Remember: The Pardoner spoke earlier about how one sin can lead to other sins<br />
  18. 18. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 250-254<br />On their way to the village spoken of by the publican, the rioters encounter an old man dressed in old, ragged clothing<br /> * Scholars have interpreted this character to represent:<br /> ~ The Devil<br /> ~ The Grim Reaper or The personification of death<br /> * Personification – When a non-human entity takes on the traits of a human being.<br />The old man says he has been searching all over the world for someone who would exchange ages with him<br />
  19. 19. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 250-254<br />The old man says death will not take him<br />The three rioters treat him poorly<br />The old man says:<br /> ~ “Do no more harm to an old man than you, being now young, would have another do when you are old”<br />The rioters accuse the old man of being a spy for Death<br />The old man tells the rioters he left Death under a tree<br /> ~ “To find out Death, turn up this crooked way Towards that grove, I left him there today under a tree, and there you’ll find him waiting.”<br />
  20. 20. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 250-254<br />The rioters run to the tree and discover eight bushels of gold florins!<br />The rioters forget about their pursuit of Death<br /> * Situational Irony – When what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected to happen<br />They plan on how to get the gold home<br />They decide to wait until nightfall before they carry it because someone might think they stole it<br />They draw straws to see who will go back to town for supplies<br />The youngest one wins<br />
  21. 21. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 250-254<br />When the youngest leaves, the other two plot how to kill him so they only have to split the gold two ways<br />The plan is for one to “play wrestle” with the young one<br />When this happens, the other will stab the young one and the two will continue until he is dead<br />Meanwhile, back in town, the youngest is planning how to kill the other two so he can have all of the gold to himself<br />
  22. 22. The Seven Deadly Sins<br /> 1) Pride – Elevated sense of self (exaggerated self-esteem)<br />2) Avarice – Greed (desire always to want more)<br />3) Lust – Excessive sexual desire<br />4) Anger – Great displeasure resulting from injury or mistreatment (and a desire for retribution)<br />5) Gluttony – Eating or drinking to excess<br />6) Envy – Jealousy due to another’s advantages<br />7) Sloth – Extreme laziness <br />
  23. 23. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 255-End<br />
  24. 24. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 255-End<br />The youngest goes to the apothecary and buys poison; the man says it will kill instantly<br />He borrows three bottles from another man<br /> * He pours poison in two of the bottles, along with wine. He just pours wine in the third bottle<br />When the youngest returns, the two rioters execute their plan and kill him!<br />The two rioters sit down and rest before burying the body; they drink the wine<br />They die on the spot!<br />All three rioters are now dead!<br />The Pardoner’s story is over, but he continues to preach<br />
  25. 25. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 255-End<br />The Pardoner makes a cry out about various sins<br />He states how Jesus died for people’s sins to be forgiven, but people are just unnatural and false inside<br />The Pardoner tells the other pilgrims:<br /> ~ “God forgive your sin and keep you from the vice of avarice!”<br />The Pardoner states how his pardons will free them from all of this if they pay him the right amount of money<br />He asks them to bow down before his holy bull, he will write down their names in his book, and they will go to Heaven<br />
  26. 26. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 255-End<br /> ~ “For I’ll absolve you by my holy power,<br /> you that make offering, clean as at the hour when you were born…”<br />The Pardoner says he would not deceive people while he preached<br />He says how he should have mentioned in his tale that they could buy relics and trinkets from him<br />They can also buy pardons from him and renew” them in every town!<br />He states how lucky the pilgrims are to have such a great Pardoner with them on the trip<br />
  27. 27. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 255-End<br />He can absolve them of their sins quickly in case an accident should happen and they die<br />The Pardoner calls upon the Host to be the first one to come forward, pray, and kiss his holy relics<br />The Host refuses and states how he knows the Pardoner’s relics are fake:<br /> ~ “You’ll have me kissing your old breeches too and swear they were the relic of a saint although your fundament supplied the paint!”<br />The host goes on to make another derogatory statement<br />
  28. 28. “The Pardoner’s Tale”Pgs. 255-End<br />The Pardoner is so angry, he cannot speak<br />The Host feels he has finally shut up the Pardoner<br />The Knight steps in and tells the two that is enough<br />The Knight asks the Host and the Pardoner to kiss and make up so they can keep things going in a friendly way<br />The Pardoner and the Host do just that<br />The two kiss and make up<br />The pilgrims continue on their journey<br />
  29. 29. Radix malorumestcupiditas<br />