The Canterbury Tales: The Pardoner's Introduction,

The Canterbury Tales: The Pardoner's Introduction, Prologue and Tale: Interlinear Edition (Thrifty Classic Literature Book 74) The Canterbury Tales recounts the stories told by pilgrims to one another as they make their way from London to the shrine of St Thomas Beckett in Canterbury This volume contains the Pardoner s Tale a story rich in detail about the exploitation of ordinary folk in medieval times at the hands of men of religion This interlinear edition places Chaucer s original middle English text in alternating rows with a new translation into modern English This allows readers to understand unfamiliar words and phrases immediately and without needing to look elsewhere The translation into modern English differs only slightly from those found elsewhere Here, the key difference is that each line is translated separately, and thereby avoids the problem seen in some translations that words are borrowed from adjacent lines to help maintain Chaucer s rhyming structure Accordingly, this translation adheres closely to Chaucer s own words although, in doing so, it may occasionally contain rather descriptive explanations than is usual in translated works Nevertheless, this word for word approach will greatly assist those new to Chaucer s middle English Parents will be pleased that The Pardoner s Tale contains no lewdness or vulgarity as can be found in some of the other Canterbury Tales In this regard, it may appropriately be studied at Middle School level This volume contains the complete and unabridged text with line Numbers together with an easily understandable translation into modern English which means it offers excellent value for money Oof Some of the things you have to read for school. The Canterbury Tales has survived for some 650 years and with good reason Originally conceived as a vast project whereby a group of disparate individuals from all walks of life undertake a pilgrimage to Canterbury and decide to establish a competition on route to alleviate the boredom itself a humorous joke on the fact that they should all really be considering their sins and thinking on God a story telling competition they will relay one tale each on the way there and one on the way bac The Canterbury Tales has survived for some 650 years and with good reason Originally conceived as a vast project whereby a group of disparate individuals from all walks of life undertake a pilgrimage to Canterbury and decide to establish a competition on route to alleviate the boredom itself a humorous joke on the fact that they should all really be considering their sins and thinking on God a story telling competition they will relay one tale each on the way there and one on the way back The charismatic host will then decide on the winner As with Shakespeare, many of the tales are not necessarily original They are drawn from and inspired by other literature of the era as well as Chaucer s own imagination Moreover, as with Shakespeare the numerous different copies transcribed by scribes and relayed by word of mouth have resulted in many of the tales having multiple versions and some becoming mere fragments Further, many of the tales have either been lost or were never completed due to Chaucer s untimely death There is an enormous amount of scholarship surrounding Chaucer and the authorship of his tales However, what remains important about them to my mind is not whether he uses this word rather than that or whether he was influenced by French or German literary antecedents, but the stories themselves.Probably like many out there, I was first introduced to Chaucer at A Level where my dynamic English teacher made us read the Wife of Bath s Tale aloud with accents This was initially greeted with significant embarrassment and tittering However, it brought the text to life and although we were all at first sceptical and fairly uncomprehending this is not English we thought we were soon drawn into the rhythms of the language and laughing uproariously It was an all girls school and any whiff of a sexual innuendo sent us into fits of giggles even at 17.I have since read a number of his tales although by no means all and what remains impressive is Chaucer s ability to engage with a range of genres and create tales that are so different We can laugh at The Shipman s Tale or be captivated by the romance of the Knight s Tale or drawn into a fantasy where animals speak in the Nun s Priest Yet at the same time there is not only wonderful poetry here, but Chaucer also provides us with an enlightening insight into Medieval society Here is an eclectic group of people thrown together by a situation that would have never allowed them to socialise otherwise and their cultural views and roles within this society are brilliantly exposed.This is nowhereso than in the case of the Pardoner s Tale A pardoner is a supposedly religious man who sells pardons bits of saints bodies or pardons to ensure that the recipient who repents will gain a quicker passage to Heaven Well, this may seem entirely out of touch with our society Yet what Chaucer exposes here is a corrupt religious practice and practitioners playing on the fears of those who have nothing and their primitive beliefs in hell fire and damnation whilst himself living an entirely immoral lifestyle governed by materialism, pride and lust sound familiar Unlike the other tales, this is appropriately narrated from the setting of another inn which allows the pardoner to drink throughout and attempt to peddle his wares rather less successfully at the conclusion of his tale.His tale, which he takes some time to get around to after a long preamble about his experience of the world s sins, is the story of three rogues Indulging at an early hour of the morning, they witness a funeral procession and when they are told that the corpse is an old friend who has been killed by a familiar local assailant Death they determine to find the figure of Death and kill him Yes, indeed they are foolish rogues On the way into the forest to meet their target they encounter an old man who claims that he wishes to die, but can t However, he is able to tell the rogues where to find Death as he has searched for him If they follow a short path into the forest, they will find Death They promptly do exactly this only to discover an enormous treasure of gold Sending their youngest member back to town for victuals to consume whilst they wait as they cannot simply take the gold home without arousing suspicion, they each begin to formulate their own plots Without revealing too much, it is soon obvious that it is not merely gold that they have discovered in the forest at all.This is a superb tale and I certainly enjoyed it as much as that of the Wife of Bath andthan The Nun s Priest s Tale that I read last year The story is at once sinister with its gothic overtones and at the same time darkly comic whilst being told by a charismatic narrator the kind of character we love to hate, and have to listen to The tale and prologue contains both a moral imperative and a religious satire At only about 700 lines or so including introduction, this is an easy read However, I would strongly recommend reading an annotated edition that can provide you with an insight into not merely some of the less familiar language, but also to some of the contextual details that enable a fuller understanding of the text.There is also a superb adaptation aimed at younger audiences made by the BBC in 1998, which I feel captures some of the spirit of the main narrative youtube If you are looking for a first taste of Chaucer, this is definitely the text for you lively, entertaining and brilliantly written, yet also utterly revealing of the era, I thoroughly enjoyed the Pardoner s Tale 3.5 huh Short review from memory until I re read and re review at a later date The second book I ve been made to read in academic circles that I ve actually enjoyed I think so What I liked so much was that it s in Ye Olde English, which is great, but often hard to understand Reading it in both ways translated and original will definitely be done, I feel. Fragment VI of The Canterbury Tales consists of just two tales, from the Physician and the Pardoner.The Physician s tale is another of Chaucer s tales of abused women This time a young girl, just 14 years of age, who is beautiful and free from vice, about whom the local judge develops a fixation He rigs up a legal case stating that the girl isn t the man s daughter, but an escaped servant and forces the man to surrender his daughter to a paid lacky of the judge The man goes back to daughter a Fragment VI of The Canterbury Tales consists of just two tales, from the Physician and the Pardoner.The Physician s tale is another of Chaucer s tales of abused women This time a young girl, just 14 years of age, who is beautiful and free from vice, about whom the local judge develops a fixation He rigs up a legal case stating that the girl isn t the man s daughter, but an escaped servant and forces the man to surrender his daughter to a paid lacky of the judge The man goes back to daughter and convinces her to kill herself instead of submitting to dishonour The mob then discover what s happened and kill the judge Lots and lots of similarities to the story of the Rape of Lucrece, which Shakespeare turned into a long poem, but on the back of half a dozen similar stories in the tales, it s all starting to grow a bit samey and bit anti women.The Pardoner, however, is a different kettle of fish A braggart, a self publicist, a self deluded hypocrit, a lover of words, a man who apparently sees nothing wrong in revealing to all how he fleeces the poor folk out their few pennies to kiss a sheep s shoulder bone as a holy relic He knows it s all fake, and relishes in the explanations.His tale is an allegory about the love of money being the root of all evil Three drunken gamblers hear from the innkeeper that Death is slaying the villagers, so they set off to beat up and kill Death and become heroes On the way, they meet an old man on a stile and abuse him I got the impression that the man is probably Death in human form who tells them to look under a nearby tree, where they find bags and bags of gold coins They promptly forget about their plans to kill Death and plan to steal the money They send the youngest away to buy supper while he s gone the two older ones plot to stab him when he returns to have a two way rather than a three way share, but the younger one puts poison in their wine while he s away so they ll die and he will have all the money to himself alone Ultimately, all three die Proving that greed never pays gross hypocrisy from the mouth of the Pardoner of course.The story ends in hilarious, ribald, crude fashion from Chaucer, when the Pardoner turns to the pilgrims themselves and suggests that they pay him to be pardoned or to kiss his relics He asks the host first a big mistake he turns and tells him Nay, nay quod he, thanne have I Cristes curs Lat be, quod he, it shal nat be, so theech Thou woldest make me kisse thyn olde breech, And swere it were a relyk of a seint, Though it were with thy fundement depeint But, by the croys which that Seint Eleyne fond, I wolde I hadde thy coillons in myn hond In stide of relikes or of seintuarie Lat kutte hem of, I wol thee helpe hem carie They shul be shryned in an hogges toord No, No said he, then I d have Christ s curse Let it be, said he, it shall not be so You would make me kiss your old breeches,And swear it was a saint s relic,Though it was stained by your arsehole But, by the cross that Saint Elaine found,I wish I had your bollocks in my handInstead of relics or sanctuaryI d cut them off and help you carry them They ll be enshrined in a hog s turd Chaucer at his crudest, you ve gotta love it I may or may not have rapped this entire story This was the tale I had studied at A level and my first taste of Chaucer I hated this character, he was as corrupt as others in his profession But yet he is seen to be boasting of his corruption I remember when I was studying this, I mainly found the context interesting which was the corruption of the church at the time and Chaucer calling on it. The Pardoner, along with the Wife of Bath and the Host, are the most vivid and dynamic of Chaucer s pilgrims The Pardoner is a wretched man, boastful of his nefarious arts yet confident enough to then ply them on his fellow pilgrims It s not enough that he is a con artist, he must tell others of his exploits But he can t help but then try to con them with his tricks When trying his arts on the Host, the Host takes him down a few pegs, responding he d rather cut off his the Pardoner s testi The Pardoner, along with the Wife of Bath and the Host, are the most vivid and dynamic of Chaucer s pilgrims The Pardoner is a wretched man, boastful of his nefarious arts yet confident enough to then ply them on his fellow pilgrims It s not enough that he is a con artist, he must tell others of his exploits But he can t help but then try to con them with his tricks When trying his arts on the Host, the Host takes him down a few pegs, responding he d rather cut off his the Pardoner s testicles and carry them in hog s turds rather than kiss the Pardoner s relics The Pardoner s story is great What I find most interesting is the old man who is also seeking Death not to kill it, but to submit to it Worn by time and age, made weak and withered, he seeks to return to the Earth, to the mother, and he raps upon the ground with his cane to gain entrance It s a very stark interlude in an already dark story The Cambridge edition has a very good introduction, providing the context of the story and some important historical background The text of the story itself, though, it pointless to read It provides no footnotes, and the endnotes are sparse and difficult to use If you are already familiar with Chaucer s English, this is the reading edition for you If not, enjoy the introduction and then go to the Everyman s Library edition that putscopious notes right on the page to assist in the reading


About the Author: Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer c 1343 October 25, 1400 was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales Sometimes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular English language, rather than French or Latin.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top