In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, how does the Pardoner's appearance reflect his inner depravity?

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It is instructive that the Pardoner is one of the last of the pilgrims introduced by Chaucer in the General Prologue. As the characters are introduced in a strict social hierarchy, we can tell immediately that the Pardoner occupies a position near the bottom of the social scale. His lowly position is further reflected by his physical separation from the other pilgrims as he rides at the back of the group.

In addition to his repulsive personal appearance, the Pardoner's odious character is revealed by his behavior. He sings, or rather bellows, a bawdy love song, something completely inappropriate for a religious pilgrimage. The fact that he sings "Com hider, love to me!" with the Summoner, another deeply unsavory character, reinforces suspicions of his depravity. The Pardoner's loutish behavior also confirms his total lack of piety. His official position within the church, as with the equally hateful Summoner, is simply a mask for his own greed, corruption, and hypocrisy.

The narrator also...

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