Gluttony and Drunkenness in The Pardoner's Tale

Themes in The Pardoner's Tale

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Gluttony and Drunkenness

Life in Medieval England was a struggle for most people. Europe suffered the Great famine between 1315 - 1322. The Peasent's revolt in 1381 broke out about taxes and the Black death killed a third of the population. It could be argued that gluttony and drunkeness gave comfort in times of hardship.

The Pardoner begins his lengthy discourse on drunkeness and gluttony prompted by his descripition of the three men. He uses examples from the Bible to support his condemnation of the evil effects of drunkeness and encompasses gluttony in his tirade.

His claims for the evils of excessing eating are themselves excessive , as befits a showman demonstrating how to engage a congregation - corrupt was al this world for glotonye.

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Gluttony and Drunkeness

The Pardoner makes unusual interpretations of the Biblical story of the Fall to support his ideas of gluttony.

The Pardoner knows he will have a hard job convincing a probably hungry congregation of the evils of gluttony and so uses the physical imagery of its effects to repel them for example a drinker makes a privee of his throat.

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