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Canterbury Tales

  • Date Submitted: 11/11/2015 04:38 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.9 
  • Words: 771
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The Catholic Church was theologically sick and its theology led to atrocious corruptions. It was spiritually exhausted, enfeebled and almost lifeless. They had seriously departed from the teaching of the Bible and were engrossed in real heresy. The thorough and magnificent piece written by Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales incorporates many examples of irony and satire that showed us how manipulative the Church was and could be. After getting a drink, the Pardoner begins his Prologue. He tells the company about his occupation. A combination of preaching and selling promises of salvation. His sermon topic always remains the same: Radix malorum est Cupiditas, or “greed is the root of all evil.” He gives the same lesson to every congregation and then brings out his bag of “relics”; which, he readily admits to the pilgrims, are frauds. He will take a sheep’s bone and claim it is from a saint’s sheep and has miraculous healing powers for all kinds of illnesses. The faithful always believe him and make their offerings to the relics, which the Pardoner quickly accepts and pockets. The Pardoner then admits that he preaches solely to get money, not to correct sin. He would rather take the last penny from a widow and her starving family than give up his money, and the good cheeses, breads, and wines that such income brings him. He then notes, he has now finished his drink and is ready to begin his tale. The Pardoner describes a group of young Flemish people who spend their time drinking and reveling, indulging in all forms of excess. After commenting on their lifestyle of debauchery, the Pardoner enters into a tirade against the vices that they practice. First and foremost is gluttony, which he identifies as the sin that first caused the fall of mankind in Eden. Next, he attacks drunkenness, which makes a man seem mad and witless. Next is gambling, the temptation that ruins men of power and wealth. Finally, he denounces swearing. He argues that it so offends God that he...

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