The haunting, and often ironic, nature of freedom is echoed throughout the novel in its use of evolving symbols: schools that cultivate leaders become the nursery of cowards: a bird pardoner
captures birds so that they may be freed by villagers seeking penance for their sins.
6) Of the twenty-two portraits in the General Prologue (which actually describe a total of twenty-six pilgrims, since the Five Guildsmen are rendered in a group portrait and the Second Nun and "preestes thre" omitted), seven (for a total of 320 lines) are devoted to religious figures (Friar, Parson, Pardoner
, Summoner, Monk, Prioress, Clerk) and fifteen to secular ones (but for only the slightly larger total of 349 lines).
Examples from the tales of the Pardoner
, the Shipman and Sir Thopas are used by Bertolet to demonstrate how the influence of a market culture permeated and shaped the thinking of London citizens.
Chapters 4 and 5 turn, respectively, to the figure of the Jew in The Unfortunate Traveller and the Pardoner
in The Canterbury Tales.
The misogynist is, in this sense, a hermeneutic problem much like Chaucer's Pardoner
, that hypocrite whose outer appearance and inner content are queerly at odds.
The gift of the salvation of mankind, the greatest pardon, is evident in the title "pardoner
," from French par dormer, "by giving," and is how the false traytour Deeth (699) is slain, an interpretation that is foreshadowed by the Pardoner
when he says, "Til Crist hadde boght us with his blood agayn
Radix malorum est cupiditas," proclaimed Chaucer's Pardoner
at the conclusion of his tale.
Indulgences had already been ridiculed during the 14th century by Chaucer, whose openly corrupt Pardoner
in The Canterbury Tales preys upon pilgrims making their way to the shrine of St Thomas Becket.
Then there is the sudden interruption of the Pardoner
, and her emphatic put-down of him.
For those already familiar with the Knight, the Pardoner
, Alison the Wife of Bath and the host of other Chaucerian protagonists, it is delightful to recognise them.
A sampling of specific topics: linguistic corporeality in Chaucer's Pardoner
, rhetorics of reticence and (dis)ease in King Lear, and Shakespeare and the irony of early modern disease metaphor and metonymy.
I was one of those reluctant teenagers, dreading having to read aloud in class from Chaucer's seminal depiction of a pardoner
Do we have Squires and Prioresses nowadays, and what is a Summoner, a Pardoner
or a Franklin - all of whom who had their Tales told?
There's also fun to be had from teasing fellow pilgrims, with the young Squire (Matt Connor) driven to frustrated tears by the comedic heckling of the Pardoner
(a fey Andrew Whitehead channelling Larry Grayson) and Summoner, while there's a running joke about the tediousness of the tragedy intoned endlessly by Alan McMahon's Monk.
Ganim argues that Chaucer's Pardoner
, like Boccaccio's character Ciappelletto, points to and reviles the popular in his picture of "lewed peple" who "loven tales olde" (6.