The Canterbury Tales Questions and Answers
by Geoffrey Chaucer

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What feelings does the Chaucer Pilgrim actually express about the Pardoner in "The General Prologue" in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales?

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We know from the early lines of the introduction to the Pardoner in "The General Prologue" that the narrating Pilgrim feels unsympathetic toward the Pardoner since he is introduced as the friend of the disliked Summoner. The Pilgrim calls the Pardoner "gentle." This satirically ironic descriptive word has an archaic definition meaning gallant and chivalrous. We know the Pilgrim is speaking satirically, ironically and insincerely because we know who the Pardoner's friends are, "With [the Summoner] rode a gentle Pardoner"; the Pilgrim feels dislike and disdain for the Pardoner. 

As the Pilgrim's description continues, we learn more about how he feels through further indirect inferences. First there is the description of the Pardoner's unorthodoxly long yellow hair that spreads over his shoulders in thin clumps. For an unspecified reason, he won't wear the monk's hood that is a standard part of a cleric's garb (clothing was prescribed by code in Chaucer's day so that a person's occupation...

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