In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, how does the Pardoner's appearance reflect his inner depravity?
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The Pardoner's appearance reflects his inner depravity in several ways. He had hair "yellow as wax" that hung "lankly" on is head, "thin and droopy" which reflected his spiritual state: "thin and droopy." He is "disheveled" and his eyes are "shiny" and are compared to a rabbits eyes. Again this reflects his inner state: he is like an animal, not a human. His voice "bleated like a goat." Sinners and those serving Satan are often compared to goats in the Bible and I believe that Chaucer is using a similar comparison to again show the Pardoner's depraved spiritual state. Finally, he had no beard and seemed to be not a true man; but a "gelding or a mare." This again shows his inner state. He is not a man; and has not the spirit, courage, or integrity of a man. Chaucer uses the physical description of the pardoner to draw a picture of one with no true spiritual life and no real connection to the God he claims to serve.
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