Literary critics usually use the term "image" to describe a moment when the language of a poem appeals explicitly to our visual sense. Images become "key" images when literature makes them a crucial part of a larger structure visual experience, designs them to encapsulate a central idea or emotion, lavishes enormous verbal ornament upon them, or causes them to shock us with their beauty, violence, or incongruity. Find two images that connect the Pardoner's "Prologue" with "The Pardoner's Tale." Write a paragraph describing the way these images work in the texts. Then, in another paragraph, write about the role of imagery in Julian of Norwich's work.

Images that connect the prologue to "The Pardoner's Tale" are largely physical in nature, that is, they deal with the appearances of the characters, which can also be read as a judgment on their character. Chaucer's use of imagery is very different than Julian of Norwich's, as hers is of a highly spiritual nature.

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Much of the imagery that Chaucer uses throughout The Canterbury Tales is physical and earthy. He is very much interested in the world as it is, even if the nature of the characters' pilgrimage is religious. We see this in the prologue to "The Pardoner's Tale," which has brief, pungent descriptions of several characters, including the priest ("a regular Chanticleer") and the Pardoner, who is called unattractive, slimy-looking, and compared to both a goat and a rabbit. Given the allegorical bent of many of Chaucer's tales, physical appearance can be a key to character, and the Pardoner, who is drinking heavily, is a less than desirable character, which is appropriate as the tale he tells is about disreputable men, who are immoral, badly behaved, and criminal.

A second use of imagery that connects the prologue with the tale is the use of religious imagery. Aside from the many characters who are involved in religion, some professionally, others as pilgrims, the Pardoner carries around a "relic"...

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