The Canterbury Tales

Look at the Friar in the prologue and his tale and contrast him with the Pardoner

The Pardoner's Tale

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Chaucer despises most representatives of the church (except for the Country Parson). The Friar who is listed early in the prologue is mellow and "fun" and basically devotes his life to pleasurable things. He takes money for all he does for people (marriages, confessions, etc.) and he is not concerned about any real rules of the church. He disdains all poor people, the very people who need his care. On the other hand, the Pardoner is left for nearly the end of the prologue, and it seems that Chaucer saves "the worst" for last. The Pardoner is completely corrupt; the description of his waxy hair hanging in hanks is completely off putting. He is only interested in money and sells whatever he can as a representative of the church with the intention of getting rich.