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What are the moral lessons in the "Pardoner's Tale"?

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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.

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What are the moral lessons in the "Pardoner's Tale"?
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The Pardoner, who tells the tale, travels preaching against these vices through biblical tales. The tale itself is about a literal search for death personified. When three rioters go looking for death, their plan is subverted and then fulfilled by the desire to possess a pot of gold. Their greed ultimately causes each of the rioters to die, thus affirming the moral of the tale regarding greed.

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  • Q:

    What does the Pardoner's story reveal about him?

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    The Pardoner's Tale, from Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," shows the reader that the Pardoner is not only corrupt but proud of the moral depths which he has reached. He has come to love the comforts that come from the money he charges for pardoning the sins of others.

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  • Q:

    What is Chaucer satirizing in "The Pardoner's Tale?"

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    In "The Pardoner's Tale," Geoffrey Chaucer is satirizing the traveling member of the clergy who is selling "Get Out of Hell Free" cards, which is another way of defining the indulgences that they had for sale. In the story, the pardoner is in a group heading to the shrine at Canterbury, but he also admits readily to cheating beggars out of their money. This story satirizes the work that the clergy did at that time, selling forgiveness to the highest bidder instead of requiring repentance.

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  • Q:

    What is the central irony in "The Pardoner's Tale?"

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    The central irony of “The Pardoner’s Tale” is that the three young men who set out to kill Death end up killing one another out of greed. Both noble and vainglorious, their failed quest proves that those who seek death find it, often quickly.

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  • Q:

    What are some examples of a metrical tale?

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    A metrical tale is a form of poetry that relays a story in a number of verses. Two famous examples are "Evangeline," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Sir Walter Scott's "The Lady of the Lake." The majority of metrical tales recount romantic stories and are usually told from the first-person point of view.

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