The Canterbury Tales

what are the changes in tone in the story the pardoners tale

how does the tone change throughout the poem

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The Pardoner is pretty unapologetic about his life of crime. He is as corrupt as others in his profession. He cheats people by selling them fake relics and absolving their sins for a price. He loves money and brags about his amoral lifestyle. His tone does change. Beneath his bravado, there is a sense that he feels bad about his actions. Perhaps this is because his boasts are so over the top. He attempts to see the good in people by his rather weak attempt to cover up his own selfishness: “But that is nat my principal entente; / I preche nothyng but for coveitise.” His tone changes periodically to chastise himself but he quickly returns in showing the travellers his delight in his lies and deceit.