Unveiling the Characterization of the Pardoner in this Passage

The Pardoner, a character in “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer, is characterized as a hypocrite in this passage. He is described as having a high-pitched voice, a physical trait commonly associated with effeminacy. Moreover, he wears flamboyant and extravagant clothing, ranging from a hat to a cape, which implies his obsession with outward appearances and material things.

Despite being a pardoner who is supposed to relieve people from their guilt through selling indulgences, he confesses that he is a fraud and admits to using deception to swindle people out of their money. He even goes to the extent of boasting about his deceitful tricks, which further cements his hypocritical nature.

In conclusion, Chaucer portrays the Pardoner as an unscrupulous and duplicitous individual, emphasizing the flaws and inconsistencies in his character. Through the Pardoner, Chaucer raises questions about the role of the Church in medieval society and the corruption that often lurked within its ranks.


Pardoner Canterbury Tales Chaucer

The Pardoner is one of the most complex and fascinating characters in the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. He is a religious figure who sells indulgences to people, promising to absolve them of their sins and guarantee them a place in heaven. However, the Pardoner is also a hypocrite who indulges in vices like greed and lust. This passage presents the Pardoner in all his complexity, giving readers a glimpse into his character and motivations.

The Pardoner’s Physical Appearance

The Pardoner's Physical Appearance

Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” introduces readers to a wide variety of vividly drawn characters, each with their quirks and unique personality traits. Among them, the Pardoner stands out for his distinctive physical appearance and mannerisms, which serve to set him apart from the other travelers.

The Pardoner is described as having long, greasy, yellow hair that falls in limp strands around his face. His hair is likely a wig since many people during that era resorted to wigs as a fashion statement; however, the Pardoner’s hair is not a statement of fashion, but it rather serves to highlight his deceitful nature. His hair is greasy and unkempt, which is a visual cue to the audience that something is not quite right with the Pardoner.

The Pardoner’s voice is also noteworthy since it is high-pitched and resembles the bleating of a goat. This sets him apart from the other characters in the tale and serves to draw attention to his entrance into the story. The Pardoner’s voice also reinforces his deceitful nature and gives the audience clues as to the true nature of his character.

In addition to his voice and greasy hair, the Pardoner also wears a small cap that sits on top of his head. The cap serves as another visual cue as to the Pardoner’s deceitful nature. In medieval times, the cap was a symbol of respectability and was worn by priests and other members of the clergy. By wearing this cap, the Pardoner is attempting to masquerade as a respectable member of the clergy, while in reality, he is a con man who uses pardons to make a profit.

Finally, the Pardoner’s bulging eyes are always looking outwards and serve to create an air of suspicion around his character. In literature, bulging eyes are often used to signify suspicion or untrustworthiness. This visual clue is designed to make the audience question the Pardoner’s motives and the validity of his actions.

In conclusion, the Pardoner’s physical appearance is a complex and nuanced portrayal of his true character. His long, greasy, yellow hair, high-pitched voice, small cap, and bulging eyes all serve to highlight his deceitful and untrustworthy nature. By using these visual cues, Geoffrey Chaucer was able to create a vivid and memorable character that stands out from the rest of the travelers in “Canterbury Tales.”

The Pardoner’s Character Traits

The Pardoner's Character Traits

The Pardoner, one of the most intriguing characters in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, is recognized for having a unique and complex personality. Throughout the story, he exhibits various character traits, which make him distinctly different than any other character in the novel. His traits are what make him an interesting persona to analyze.

1. Greed


The Pardoner’s greed is his most prominent character trait. He is a man who is not satisfied with what he has and always wants more, which is why he sells pardons to the people. He does this for his financial gain and does not have any concern for the consequences of his actions. He uses religion as a means to convince people to give him money, promising them forgiveness of their sins in return. However, he is only robbing them while using religion as a cover. He is selling repentance, which belongs to God, and this is a sign of his greed.

2. Deceitful


The Pardoner is characterized as deceitful, which is evident in his false claims. He uses sweet words to persuade people to buy his pardons. He lies to them about how his relics and pardons can heal the sick and dying. He even tells the people that he has relics from some of the most holy saints, which is a complete fraud. He is a man who takes pride in his deceitful nature and does not see anything wrong with his actions.

3. Manipulative


The Pardoner is also portrayed as being highly manipulative throughout the novel. He uses his persuasive words to create a false sense of security in the people and change their emotions to his advantage. He manipulates the people’s emotions by telling them stories about death and disaster, playing on their fears, and then selling his pardons. He is skilled in playing the emotions of the people and knows precisely how to influence them to get what he wants. He exploits the people’s faith and naivety to satisfy his own greed. He is indeed a master of manipulation.



The Pardoner’s character traits make him a complex and fascinating character in The Canterbury Tales. His greed, deceitful nature, and manipulative behavior are what make him stand out in the crowd. He uses his persuasive words to manipulate people and then sells his pardons for his financial gain. He is not concerned about people’s souls but about filling his pockets. His personality illustrates the lack of integrity and the corrupt nature of people in the Middle Ages. Therefore, The Pardoner should be analyzed as a character representing the plague of corruption infecting society at the time.

The Pardoner’s Religious Beliefs

The Pardoner in The Canterbury Tales

In “The Canterbury Tales,” the Pardoner is portrayed as a religious man who is devoted to his job. He claims to have the authority to pardon sins, making him an important figure in the eyes of the church. However, despite his position, the Pardoner is shown to have many vices, including greed and a love of luxury.

Despite this, the Pardoner appears to have a deep understanding of the Bible and the teachings of the church. He is able to quote scripture with ease and frequently references religious stories and parables. He uses this knowledge to his advantage, convincing people to buy his pardons by claiming that they will help them attain salvation.

However, it is clear that the Pardoner’s religious beliefs are not genuine. He is more interested in making money than in helping people find redemption. He openly admits to using his position to enrich himself, saying, “My holy pardon cleanse both flesh and bone / Of any sinful man who pays the coin” (line 204-205). He even goes so far as to admit that he preaches against the very sins that he commits himself.

Despite his many flaws, the Pardoner’s knowledge of the Bible and the teachings of the church cannot be denied. He uses this knowledge to manipulate people and enrich himself, but he is also able to preach powerful sermons that leave his audience feeling moved. In this way, he is a complex character who embodies the contradictions of human nature.

The Pardoner’s Motives

The Pardoner's Motives

The Pardoner is a complex character in Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales.” He is a member of the clergy who is tasked with selling indulgences and relics to the people. However, his motives are not entirely pure. His ultimate goal is to make as much money as possible by preying on people’s fear and guilt, and he uses his position in the church to do so.

Throughout the story, the Pardoner’s main motivation is to accumulate wealth. He uses his persuasive skills to convince people to part with their money, promising them salvation in return. He preys upon the guilt and shame that people feel about their sins, using this to extract money from them. By selling fake relics and indulgences, he is able to convince people that their sins will be absolved, thus securing their place in heaven.

One way in which the Pardoner’s motives are characterized is through his appearance. He is described as having long, greasy hair and bulging eyes, and he wears bright clothing and a hat adorned with a relic. This is meant to portray him as a greedy, dishonest character who is primarily interested in personal gain. His appearance is a reflection of his true motives, which are selfish and self-serving.

The Pardoner is also known for his sermons, in which he preaches against the very sins that he himself is guilty of. He tells stories of people who have fallen victim to greed, gluttony, and other vices, all the while selling indulgences to those who are guilty of these same sins. This is another way in which the Pardoner’s motives are characterized. He is not a moral character; he is only interested in lining his pockets.

It is important to note that the Pardoner’s motives are not unique in the story. In fact, many of the characters in “The Canterbury Tales” are motivated by personal gain and greed. However, the Pardoner is unique in his willingness to exploit people’s fear and guilt for financial gain. He is not a sympathetic character, and his motives are clearly in conflict with his position in the church.

In conclusion, the Pardoner’s motives are characterized by his desire for personal gain and his willingness to exploit others for financial profit. He uses his position in the church to prey upon people’s fear and guilt, convincing them to buy his fake relics and indulgences. While the Pardoner is not a moral character, he is a complex one, and his motivations add depth and meaning to his portrayal in “The Canterbury Tales.”

The Pardoner’s Deceitful Nature

the pardoner's deceitful nature

The Pardoner is a deceitful man who is skilled at manipulating others for his own benefit. He uses his position in the church to peddle false relics and sell indulgences to the highest bidder. He is able to convince people to part with their hard-earned money in exchange for the promise of absolution and eternal salvation. He makes use of fear and guilt to persuade people to buy his wares, playing on their deepest insecurities and vulnerabilities.

The Pardoner is shown to be completely devoid of any sense of morality or ethics. He is willing to use any means necessary to achieve his goals, whether it be through lying, stealing, or even murder. He is not concerned with the spiritual well-being of his victims, only with how much money he can extract from them before moving on to his next mark.

The Pardoner’s Manipulative Tactics

the pardoner's manipulative tactics

The Pardoner is a master of manipulation, using his charm and eloquence to deceive others into believing his lies. He preaches about the dangers of avarice and greed, yet he himself is one of the most avaricious and greedy characters in the story. He is skilled at playing on people’s emotions and fears, using his persuasive powers to extract money from them.

The Pardoner is also adept at exploiting people’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. He preys on the guilt and fear of those who are worried about their own spiritual well-being, convincing them that they need to buy his relics or indulgences in order to gain God’s favor. He is able to turn people’s insecurities against them, using them to manipulate them for his own gain.

The Pardoner’s Greed

the pardoner's greed

The Pardoner is perhaps best characterized by his insatiable greed. He is obsessed with money and wealth, and will stop at nothing to accumulate as much of it as possible. He uses his position in the church to enrich himself, selling false relics and indulgences to gullible and vulnerable people.

The Pardoner’s greed is so great that it overrides any sense of morality or ethics. He is willing to commit any sin, no matter how heinous, in order to acquire more wealth. He is completely unrepentant, and does not care about the spiritual consequences of his actions.

The Pardoner’s Persuasive Powers

the pardoner's persuasive powers

Despite his many flaws, the Pardoner is a highly persuasive and eloquent speaker. He is able to use his charm and charisma to convince people to do his bidding, playing on their emotions and fears to get what he wants.

The Pardoner is also highly knowledgeable about the ways of the church and religion. He is able to use this knowledge to his own advantage, quoting scripture and using religious terminology to persuade people to buy his false relics and indulgences.

The Pardoner’s Lack of Self-Awareness

the pardoner's lack of self-awareness

Despite his many flaws and vices, the Pardoner seems to have no self-awareness about his own character. He preaches about the dangers of avarice and greed, yet fails to see the irony in his own behavior. He is completely convinced of his own righteousness, and sees himself as a savior rather than a sinner.

The Pardoner’s lack of self-awareness is perhaps what makes him such a compelling character. He is a study in contradictions, a man who is simultaneously manipulative and persuasive, greedy and persuasive, knowledgeable and ignorant. He is a character who is both fascinating and repulsive, one who is able to capture the imagination of readers and viewers alike.

The Pardoner as a Symbol of Corruption in the Church

the pardoner as a symbol of corruption in the church

The Pardoner is often seen as a symbol of the corruption that was rampant in the church during the medieval period. He is a man who uses his position in the church to enrich himself, preying on the fears and insecurities of the faithful in order to extract money from them.

The Pardoner is also a symbol of the hypocrisy that was prevalent in the church during this time. He preaches about the dangers of greed and avarice, yet is himself one of the most greedy and avaricious characters in the story. He is a man who is able to convince people to part with their wealth in order to gain absolution and eternal salvation, something that was highly valued during this period of history.

The Final Word

the pardoner's characterization

The characterization of the Pardoner in “The Canterbury Tales” is complex and multifaceted. He is a man who is characterized by his deceitfulness, manipulative nature, and insatiable greed. Despite his many flaws, he is highly persuasive and knowledgeable, able to manipulate others to his own advantage. He is a symbol of the corruption that was prevalent in the church during the medieval period, and a reminder of the dangers of hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

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