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Where does the old man tell the three rioters to look for Death in the Pardoner's tale?...

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keptoc92 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 1, 2009 at 3:59 AM via web

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Where does the old man tell the three rioters to look for Death in the Pardoner's tale? How do they treat him?

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robertwilliam | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted November 1, 2009 at 4:34 AM (Answer #1)

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The three drunkards are really very rude to the old man. He greets them very politely, but one of the drunkards responded rudely and asked him why he was still alive - as he was so old, he should be dead.

The old man responds to this rudeness by saying that he does not think it appropriate to speak to an old man like that, as well as adding that he would love to die - he keeps knocking on the door of death, he says, but it will not open for him.

The drunkards then continue to be rude the old man, telling him that he will regret it if he does not tell them where death is.

He responds:

To fynde deeth, turne up this croked wey,
For in that grove I lafte hym, by my fey,
Under a tree, and there he wole abyde;
Noght for youre boost he wole him no thyng hyde.
Se ye that ook? right there ye shal hym fynde.
God save yow...

(line by line translation:)

To find Death, go up this crooked path
For I left him in that grove, honestly,
Under a tree - and he will stay there -
He will not hide anything despite what you say.
Do you see that oak? You'll find him right there.
God save you!

Hope it helps!

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