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Why is it ironic that the pardoner preaches a story with particular moral?

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tashay18washy | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 15, 2009 at 12:44 AM via web

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Why is it ironic that the pardoner preaches a story with particular moral?

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howesk | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted November 17, 2010 at 9:55 PM (Answer #1)

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The irony of the Pardoner's tale is that he preaches on the very sin he commits. The Pardoner's prologue tells that he tries to pass off pig's bones as relics of saints, a pillow case as a shawl worn by Mary, etc. He decieves people trying to buy pardons from their sins by selling false pardons to earn himself money. This is greedy, as he takes advantage of religion for his own monetary gain.

The irony is that the Pardoner's tale is all about how greed is the root of evil. In the story, all the men die because of their greed and selfishness. Following his tale, the Pardoner asks the other pilgrims and on-lookers to give freely and buy pardons, encouraging them not to be greedy while feeding his own greed.

 

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