The Deadly Sins & Setting in The Pardoner's Tale

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DEADLY SINS - Chaucer implies that all the sins lead to each other

PRIDE - unreasonable, self-importance.

  • “Newe jet.” (line 684) ‘Latest fashion’ - Pardoner’s vanity (pride).
  • Pardoner is boastful of his speaking skills: “an hauteyn speche.” (line 43) a heightened speech.
  • He boasts about how he can trick money from people; “by this gaude” / “by this trick” (line 103)
  • “My rolle anon” (line 625) God’s book of those whose sins have been forgiven and will go to heaven - he is comparing himself to God. Pardoner suggests that you can buy your way out of sin even if you don’t feel truly sorry. Says he can give “absolucion” (line 638) but he cannot, he is just a pardoner. 
  • He says it is an honour to have a “suffisant pardoneer” (line 646) in their midst because he can constantly absolve their sins incase of death. Vain and arrogant. And on a pilgrimage they may be waiting to repent at coventry so they don't necessarily need a pardon every mile of the journey.

ENVY - jealousy, wanting with others have. 

  • “Heeleth jalousie.” (line 80) - Pardoner says you will never doubt your wife’s faithfulness again if you drink this soup. Trying to get money out of them. Uses relics to heal jealousy and envy. 
  • ‘Covetise’ - “I preech nothing but for to covetise.” (line 138) and “I preech nothing but for covetise.” (line 147). Covet = to want. 1 of 10 commandments. 

GLUTTONY - greed, indulgence - excesses (e.g/ food and drink). 

  • “While that I drinke.” (line 42) - Pardoner need food and alcohol before he can tell a funny story - sinning. “Now have I dronke” (line 170) can only tell a moral story now he's had alcohol.
  • Over eating an over drinking is shown with Pardoner (“chese and whete” - line 162), three rioters and host who is deliberately ludicrous, drunk, over the top, contradicting himself.
  • “Superfluitee abhominable.” (line 185) - beastly excess. Disgusting nature of their hedonistic lifestyle & pursuit of pleasure. 
  • Over-indulgence, luxurious, gluttonous e.g/ “singeres with harpes, baudes, wafereres.” (line 193) - Pardoner says that they are the “develes officers.” (line 194).
  • Pardoner argues that there is no difference between a mad man and a drunken man - except a mad man lasts longer. 
  • Adam and Eve “were driven for that vice.” (line 221) - they cursed the world with gluttony. 
  • He says that to avoid gluttony one must take care of their diet.
  • “Maketh that east and west and north and south.” (line 232) some people would travel the world to get something nice to eat - the lengths that some go for gluttony. 
  • “Mete unto wombe, and wombe eek unto mete.” (line 236) Wombe = belly. Reversal - God will destroy meet and belly, all will come to an end and you will go to hell not heaven if you are gluttonous. 
  • Huge digression on the evils of drink.
  • Not treating body as a temple (Christian idea) drinking wine turns


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