Asked by: Yerma Ameijenda
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What is the theme of the Pardoner's Tale?

Last Updated: 24th April, 2020

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To expand on the theme "greed is the root of all evil," the Pardoner preaches a fable about three drunk young degenerates who set out to kill Death and end up meeting their own demise as a result of—you guessed it—greed. But the Tale doesn't paint death as completely evil.

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Besides, what is the moral of the Pardoner's Tale?

The overt moral lesson in "The Pardoner's Tale" is that greed is the root of all evil, as it is explicitly stated by the pardoner. In addition, gluttony, drunkeness, gambling and swearing are each discussed in the "Prologue to the Pardoner's Tale" as moral vices to be avoided.

what is the Pardoner's purpose in telling this story to the other pilgrims? To begin with, the Pardoner tells the other pilgrims about what he does for a living. He's a church official who travels the countryside, selling pardons (pieces of paper blessed by the pope that were used to pardon sins) and showing off fake relics.

Regarding this, what does the Pardoner's Tale reveal about the Pardoner?

The Pardoner admits that he preaches solely to get money, not to correct sin. He argues that many sermons are the product of evil intentions. By preaching, the Pardoner can get back at anyone who has offended him or his brethren.

What genre is the Pardoner's Tale?

The genre of The Pardoner's Tale is an extended exemplum, a story that shows a character's true morality. The Pardoner chose this tale in order to use it as a sermon. He goes on this journey with an intent to gain gold from people for his false pardons.

Related Question Answers

Renea Laurnaga

Professional

What is the central idea of the Pardoner's prologue?

The Pardoner takes their money but does not actually believe his pardons will free anyone from sin. He profits and therefore "wins." The central idea of the Prologue is to characterize the Pardoner as a trickster.

Emely Kalman

Professional

What does death symbolize in the Pardoner's Tale?

The Pardoner's Tale is a reminder that death is inevitable. Death is personified as a thief who pierces the heart of his victims. This was an iconographic image of death throughout the middle ages and later.

Pepita Ela

Professional

How is greed shown in the Pardoner's Tale?

The Pardoner demonstrates his theme that "greed is the root of all evil" not only in his tale, but also in his "confession" of the methods he uses to make money. His greed leads him to preach a sermon whose main purpose is to get the listeners to buy his relics and pardons.

Bikramjit Orritt

Explainer

What is the irony in the Pardoner's Tale?

The overall irony of the story is situational. It is situational because the reader would assume someone would end up with the gold but they all died in the end. If everyone wants the goods then no one will end up with them!

Siobhan Ploegar

Explainer

What is ironic about the Pardoner prologue?

The irony of the Pardoner's tale is that he preaches on the very sin he commits. The Pardoner's prologue tells that he tries to pass off pig's bones as relics of saints, a pillow case as a shawl worn by Mary, etc. He decieves people trying to buy pardons from their sins by selling false pardons to earn himself money.

Yuleisy Goycoolea

Explainer

What is hypocritical about the Pardoner's Exemplum?

Chaucer's Pardoner is hypocritical, selfish and unreliable despite his tacit desire to preach and encourage others to pursue a life free of blasphemy, gluttony and materialism. Underlying this is the question of whether such an immoral character as the Pardoner is capable of telling a moral tale.

Xiaojie Ruhimovich

Pundit

What do the three rioters represent?

The Three Rioters - These are the three protagonists of the Pardoner's Tale. All three indulge in and represent the vices against which the Pardoner has railed in his Prologue: Gluttony, Drunkeness, Gambling, and Swearing. These traits define the three and eventually lead to their downfall.

Gunther Ibarbide

Pundit

What happened in the Pardoner's Tale?

The Pardoner's Tale. The cynical Pardoner explains in a witty prologue that he sells indulgences—ecclesiastical pardons of sins—and admits that he preaches against avarice although he practices it himself. His tale relates how three drunken revelers set out to destroy Death after one of their friends had died.

Daida GorriƱo

Pundit

Who murdered the man and how Pardoner's Tale?

The rioters hear a bell signalling a burial; their friend has been killed by a "privee theef" known as Death, who has also killed a thousand others. The men set out to avenge them and kill Death. An old man they brusquely query tells them that he has asked Death to take him but has failed.

Birame Heizelmann

Pundit

What is the Pardoner's purpose?

What is the Pardoner's purpose? What is he supposed to do? He is supposed to save people of their sins, he tries to make as much money as possible. What is ironic about how the Pardoner gets people to repent from the sin of avarice? Because he is guilty of it himself.

Qaisar Uttenthaler

Pundit

Why did the Pardoner tell his tale?

Why does the Pardoner tell his moral stories? Explain how his motive is ironic, or different from what you might have expected. The Pardoner tells his moral stories not to help sinners but to help himself. He's greedy and wishes to scare people into buying his indulgences and relics.

Sanah Badri

Teacher

What does the Pardoner reveal about himself in the prologue and tale?

what does the pardoner reveal about himself in the prologue and tale? in the tale he was greedy and conceded yet in general prologue it described him as handsome and full of beauty. what is ironic about the pardoners sermons? he is preaching to people not to be caught up in money yet he is himself.

Maryia Sotodosos

Teacher

What is the moral to the Pardoner's Tale?

Answer and Explanation: The pardoner actually presents his theme in his tale, thereby giving the moral that greed is the root of all evil.

Sundus Luecken

Teacher

What is the Pardoner's motto?

Radix malorum est Cupiditas

Oihana Dumea

Teacher

How does the Pardoner's Tale start?

The Pardoner begins by describing all of his tricks of the trade in his work. He explains to the pilgrims that he always uses "greed is the root of all evil" as his theme when preaching, the better to loosen the purse strings of his audience.

Ileana Boavista

Reviewer

Why is the end of the Pardoner's Tale ironic?

The irony in "The Pardoner's Tale" is largely due to he fact that Chaucer has been put this extremely powerful and moralistic tale in the mouth of the corrupt, vain and lascivious Pardoner. Despite his numerous flaws, the Pardoner is a master storyteller and he has the pilgrims hanging on his every word.

Krastina Hezekiah

Reviewer

What happen to the three rioters at the end of the Pardoner's Tale?

The Three Rioters see a corpse go by one day and learn that it is the body of a friend of theirs, killed by Death. Convinced that the Old Man knows where to find Death, the Rioters threaten him with violence if he doesn't reveal his whereabouts. He directs them to a nearby grove.

Zehra Voicu

Reviewer

Who are the main characters in the Pardoner's Tale?

Terms in this set (7)
  • three rioters. These are the three protagonists of the Pardoner's Tale.
  • tavern knave. His tone is objective and emotionally detached.
  • the publican. The publican's comments that Death has killed an entire family - builds the danger of the situation.
  • death.
  • fortune.
  • very poor old man.
  • the apothecary.

Gori Domezain-Malie

Reviewer

What happens at the end of the Pardoner's Tale?

The subject is "Money (greed) is the root of all evil." The Pardoner's Tale ends with the Pardoner trying to sell a relic to the Host and the Host attacking the Pardoner viciously.