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What does the old man figure represent in "The Pardoner's Tale"?

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gonzalezroberta | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2007 at 9:20 AM via web

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What does the old man figure represent in "The Pardoner's Tale"?

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mrerick | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted April 12, 2007 at 3:14 AM (Answer #1)

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It is quite possible that the old man is death itself. Although the old man complains a little about being so old and wishing that death would find him, it isn't proof that he is just an old man. He takes advantage of the drunken youngsters eagerness to find death by pointing them in death's direction. Although the young men didn't quite find what they thought they were looking for, they certainly did find death. In that manner, the old man could very well be the Grim Reaper himself gathering a new group of victims.

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