Geoffrey Chaucer: The Pardoner's Tale

(1148 words)
  • Susan Yager (Iowa State University)

The Pardoner’s Tale is the second story in Fragment VI of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and is paired in that fragment with the Physician’s Tale. These stories share common themes of selfishness and greed, include grisly and unexpected deaths, and raise issues of morality and justice. Both also draw from the same literary source, the Roman de la Rose, which Chaucer knew and may have partly translated. The Pardoner’s Tale is the better known of the two stories, and is more often taught and anthologized.

The function of a pardoner in the Middle Ages was to raise money for charitable causes by offering indulgences, or remittance of the guilt or punishment …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Yager, Susan. "The Pardoner's Tale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 August 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=19959, accessed 29 July 2015.]