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How do the tavern knave and the publican personify Death in "The Pardoner's Tale"?and...

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dominickbui | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 11, 2009 at 2:18 PM via web

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How do the tavern knave and the publican personify Death in "The Pardoner's Tale"?

and what does the rioters' response to the description tell you?

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted October 11, 2009 at 8:18 PM (Answer #1)

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The tavern-knave and the publican both know exactly who has died.  The tavern-knave tells the three brash young men that Death has taken a friend of theirs.  He goes on to warn them that they should be wary of Death because he is such a strong adversary.  The publican goes on to say that Death lives around there and that he might dishonor the young men if they aren't careful. The publican is the one who tells them which village to go to in order to find Death.  The tavern-knave and the publican clearly know more than people would about Death.  Later, when the three men, encounter an old man whom they verbally abuse, he, too, is Death personified.  Death is leading the three young revellers to him and he is successful by taking advantage of their greed.

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jewtasticmofo | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 19, 2011 at 6:45 AM (Answer #2)

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The tavern-knave and the publican both know exactly who has died.  The tavern-knave tells the three brash young men that Death has taken a friend of theirs.  He goes on to warn them that they should be wary of Death because he is such a strong adversary.  The publican goes on to say that Death lives around there and that he might dishonor the young men if they aren't careful. The publican is the one who tells them which village to go to in order to find Death.  The tavern-knave and the publican clearly know more than people would about Death.  Later, when the three men, encounter an old man whom they verbally abuse, he, too, is Death personified.  Death is leading the three young revellers to him and he is successful by taking advantage of their greed. Yup

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