Essay, Research Paper: Canterbury Tales By Chaucer

Literature: Geoffrey Chaucer

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Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales, ridicule some common human frailties. Some of
the frailties exposed satirize the church. Two characters whose weaknesses do
such are The Pardoner and The Wife of Bath who are manipulative, selfish, and
deceitful – all characteristics despised by the church. The Pardoner is
manipulative in many ways. One is that he can make people believe nearly
anything he says. He can get them to believe things will happen, no matter how
preposterous they seem. By speaking in Latin, and by using fancy language, he is
able to convince people many things, such as if they wear a certain mitten,
their grain will multiply. The Pardoner will say whatever he has to in order to
make his fortune. The Wife of Bath is selfish. Everything she does is in one way
or another for her own good. Three of her husbands were good and two of them
were bad. The only reason the good ones are good is because they were old and
rich. She wanted a husband who would be her slave. Everything that went wrong,
she blamed on her husbands, even if it was her own fault. Both The Pardoner and
The Wife of Bath are deceitful in their ways. The Pardoner manages to convince
people into believing almost anything he says. The Wife of Bath is basically
able to seduce men and get them to marry her. The manipulative actions of The
Pardoner and the selfish actions of The Wife of Bath are all deceiving to the
church. The deceitful actions of both The Pardoner and The Wife of Bath were
against the church. By creating these characters, and showing how people can be
manipulative, selfish, and deceitful, Chaucer can reveal what kind of people
existed in his time, as well as today.
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