DQ:Â Compare the Pardonerâ€™s relics with his advice/stories.
To answer this discussion question, I examined the Pardonerâ€™s relics separately from his advice.Â Essentially, the Pardonerâ€™s relics are fake representations of physical remains and souvenirs of Christian saints.Â The Pardoner makes use of cheap objects such as “pigges bones”, “pilwe-beers”, and brass crosses to make ignorant and poor people pay for their sins (260.697 – 702).Â And why does he do this?Â Because the Pardoner preaches for only one purpose: â€œcoveitiseâ€ or covetousness which is the envious eagerness of wanting to possess anotherâ€™s belongings (314.136).Â In this case, the Pardoner wishes to â€œwinne gold and silverâ€¦al were it yiven of the pooreste page, or of the pooreste widweâ€ (314.152 â€“ 162). Â This is the purpose of his relics. I then separately examined the Pardonerâ€™s advice and what he preaches to the ignorant population: â€œRadix malorum est cupiditasâ€ or in other words â€“ â€œavarice is the root of all evilâ€ (312.46). Â He repeatedly conveys this message yet what this message shares in common with the relics is that both are false.Â The Pardoner admits to the â€œypocrisyeâ€ of his preachings when he reveals this (314.122):
But though myself be gilty in that sinne,
Yit can I make other folk to twinne
From avarice, and sore to repente â€“
But that is nat my principal entente:
I preche no thing but for coveitiseÂ (314.141 â€“ 145).
What the Pardoner is saying is that despite committing the sin of avarice himself he is also extremely well-crafted at telling others to behave otherwise.Â The Pardonerâ€™s character is the epitome of hypocrisy. Â I found this as Chaucerâ€™s way of questioning the Church during this time.Â However, Chaucer appears to remain neutral with his technique of false humility:
But first I praye you of youre curteisye
That ye n’arette it nought my vilainye
…Who so shal telle a tale after a man
He moot reherce, as neigh as evere he can
â€¦Al speke he nevere so rudeliche and largeÂ (260 – 261.727 â€“ 736).
This statement put’s Chaucer in a neutral position because he is only relaying the exact qualities of the Pardoner through his [Chaucer] narrative voice rather than appearing as if he isÂ criticizing. Â Instead, Chaucer uses the character of the Host to make his opinion clear on what he thinks of the Pardoner and his relics:
Thou woldest make me kiss thyn olde breech
And swere it were a relik of a saint,
Though it were with thy fundament depeintÂ (325.660 – 662).
Chaucer, Geoffrey.Â The Canterbury Tales.Â Norton Anthology of Â English Literature.Â Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 9thed. Vol. A. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., Inc., 2012. 243-342. Print.