Characters is The Pardoner's Tale

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  • Not religious - swears “as he were wood” (line 1) - swears on the crucifix, blasphemy.
  • He incorporates all lawyers into sam bad category and wishes bad things upon them - against Christian teaching of forgiveness.
  • Says that the girls’ gifts of “Fortune and of Nature” (line 9): wealth, beauty and intelligence) gave her more harm than benefit and ultimately led to her death. 
  • Trips over his words in attempt to appear well informed, cannot use Doctor’s technical langue - “I kan nat speke in terme.” (line 25) 

THREE MEN - The are anonymous archetypes.


  • “Bicomen others brother.” (line 412) The three of them become brothers: brotherhood, united, “bretheren” (line 491) but irony is that they betray each other.  
  • “Sworen brother” (line 522) - beginnings of betrayal, stressing brotherhood but emphasising that they are deceiving their younger ‘brother.’
  • Become brothers in sin and in evil.
  • Imagery of comrades going to war - noble idea to live and die as if they'd been blood brothers from birth but OMINOUS.
  • “Myn hous - or elles unto youres.” (line 499) - FREUDIAN SLIP, already reader can see that he doesn't want to divide the money up 3 ways.
  • “I wol thee nat biwreye” (line 537) irony, he’s promising not to betray the betrayer: they both things that two are stronger than 1, but the reader knows that they are all untrustworthy. Imp that they both have to be part of the murder: BONDED.


  • 3 > 1 is a parody of the holy trinity.
  • “Deeth shal be deed.” (line 424) Don't think that God is in charge of life and death.
  • Proud notion that they are more important that God - Jesus is the only one who has defeated death (during his resurrection after his crucifixion).
  • Swear a drunken oath = blasphemy, and pardoner has already given a sermon forewarning dangers of blasphemy. 
  • 3 men go to town to get “breed and wyn” (line 511) - echoes of the holy sacrament with unholy businesses: also foreshadows final supper as they “sitte and drinke” (line 597) after they've killed the boy but ultimately they are drinking the poison. 
  • “youngest of hem alle” (line 518) has to go into town, black, blasphemous parody of the holy trinity: youngest = presented as the son (Jesus) therefore his death is immanent. 
  • “I shal rive him thrugh the sides tweye” (line 542) references Jesus’ crucifixion - when he rises again he shows…


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