Pardoners Tale Essay Research Paper Love and

Pardoner?s Tale Essay, Research Paper

Love and betrayal are two major themes that appeared often in the works selected

for this semesters reading. A theme that is seen in both the story of Joseph and

Chaucer?s The Pardoner?s Tale is betrayal with a blend of greed and

selfishness. The story of Joseph involved a boy named Joseph and his brothers.

Joseph appeared to be his father?s favorite and always treated him the best.

Joseph?s brothers seemed to be angry and mad at the fact that he was getting

all the attention and so they plotted a scheme to get rid of Joseph by killing

him. Rather than killing Joseph, they sought profit in him. The brothers acted

selfishly and so they betray him by selling him to the Ishmeelites for twenty

pieces of silver. The Pardoner?s Tale is a good example of a story containing

these elements. In this story, readers see a group of rioters at a local tavern

inn drinking and having a good time. As they look behind them they see a coffin

being carried away. The rioters soon find out that it the person in the coffin

was a very good friend of theirs. As sad and angry as they are, they set off to

find out who has killed their companion. An old man directs the three rioters to

a tree down the road and tells them that Death killed their friend. The rioters

set out to find Death and kill him in revenge. When they reach the tree, they

spot a treasure. They decide to wait until dark to take the findings. While they

all wait, one rioter decided to go to town to get them all food. This rioter

comes up with an idea that he should kill the other two men and take the

treasure for himself. The other two rioters think likewise. They devise a plan

to kill the other friend and split the treasure in two parts instead of three.

As it is seen in the story of Joseph, his brothers betray him. Because they are

jealous of Joseph, their own flesh and blood, they acted selfish and greedy.

They wanted to kill him, but selling him for money would benefit them more. The

rioters acted similarly. They are all friends who set out on a mission. Once

money is brought into the picture, everyone has different feelings. They all

plot to kill one another and betray each other because they want a bigger share

of the profit. In this case, everyone ends up dead. The one sent to town decides

to put poison in the drinks and the rioters left by the tree plot to stab him.

When they finally do stab him, they think they are home free. They continue to

feast and when they drink they too end up dead. In this case no one was

successful. Everyone ends up with nothing. Their greed led them to their death.

Unlike the rioters, the betrayal of Joseph by his brothers benefited him in the

long run. He ends up interpreting dreams for the Pharaoh of Egypt. The

Pardoner?s Tale is a good work to incorporate into the syllabus because it

teaches a valuable lesson about the relationship of friends and what limits

friends go to in order to betray each other. Greed and jealousy are key elements

that make someone betray another person. An example of what people are usually

greedy about is money. Money is a materialistic item in which everyone wants.

When given the right opportunity, one will do anything for it even if it means

betraying friends or especially family members. A question that this story

raises is How far will people go in order to make themselves happy? In this case

the rioters went a far as they possibly could. They plotted to kill each other

for something that was not even rightfully theirs. If they had not found the

treasure, they would of still been alive. The Pardoner?s Tale can easily be

connected to the course assignments because although there is betrayal, there is

an element of love in it also. Although it is not easily seen, love is shown.

The rioters showed love and compassion when they found out that their friend had

died. At once they got together to find the person that had killed him. If they

did not love or care about this person they would not have even bothered to ask

who had gotten killed. This story contradicts the story of Joseph somewhat

because although they are very similar they are also different. At the end of

the story, Joseph is reunited with his betrayers. He reunites with his brothers

and they all forgive one another. This also shows an element of love. They all

decide that it is not worth remembering the bad times but to start with the

present. The rioters cannot do this because they are dead. This story also

contradicts the theme of love and betrayal because a pardoner is thought of one

who forgives and helps people with things. They preach and tell stories of good

things that happen. In the Canterbury Tales, the Pardoner is looked at as the

total opposite. His stories involve murders, stealing and even drinking. The

Pardoner?s Tale is a good story to add to the curriculum. It teaches the

importance of knowing right from wrong. It is a good tale to continue with if

one is reading The Canterbury Tales. One can learn how money makes people not

care about anything else. It usually leads to hurting the people they love and

sometimes ends up in death.


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