The Canterbury Tales Thrifty Classic Literature Book 74

  • Kindle Edition
  • 86 pages
  • The Canterbury Tales Thrifty Classic Literature Book 74
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • 23 March 2016

10 thoughts on “The Canterbury Tales Thrifty Classic Literature Book 74

  1. Vaishali Vaishali says:

    Wow truly surprising The story is three fold The pardoner a man of the cloth reveals to the entourage how immoral he is despite being society's moral standard Next he gives a brilliant passionate sermon on human vices then ends with a startling tale to illustrate his pointsI'm sincerely beside myself with how deeply Chaucer delves into this character's complex personality Ir's eually shocking he slams the Church so hard Any history I've read indicates that doing so was unconscionable in that day and age and so given Chaucer's stellar career as a statesman

  2. Steph Steph says:

    ‘The Canterbury Tales’ has survived for some 650 years and with good reason Originally conceived as a vast project whereby a group of disparate individuals from all walks of life undertake a pilgrimage to Canterbury and decide to establish a competition on route to alleviate the boredom itself a humorous joke on the fact that they should all really be considering their sins and thinking on God a story telling competition – they will relay one tale each on the way there and one on the way back The charismatic host will then decide on the winner As with Shakespeare many of the tales are not necessarily original They are drawn from and inspired by other literature of the era as well as Chaucer’s own imagination Moreover as with Shakespeare the numerous different copies transcribed by scribes and relayed by word of mouth have resulted in many of the tales having multiple versions and some becoming mere fragments Further many of the tales have either been lost or were never completed due to Chaucer’s untimely death There is an enormous amount of scholarship surrounding Chaucer and the authorship of his tales However what remains important about them to my mind is not whether he uses this word rather than that or whether he was influenced by French or German literary antecedents but the stories themselvesProbably like many out there I was first introduced to Chaucer at A Level where my dynamic English teacher made us read the ‘Wife of Bath’s Tale’ aloud with accents This was initially greeted with significant embarrassment and tittering However it brought the text to life and although we were all at first sceptical and fairly uncomprehending – this is not English we thought – we were soon drawn into the rhythms of the language and laughing uproariously It was an all girls school and any whiff of a sexual innuendo sent us into fits of giggles even at 17I have since read a number of his tales although by no means all and what remains impressive is Chaucer’s ability to engage with a range of genres and create tales that are so different We can laugh at ‘The Shipman’s Tale’ or be captivated by the romance of the ‘Knight’s Tale’ or drawn into a fantasy where animals speak in the ‘Nun’s Priest’ Yet at the same time there is not only wonderful poetry here but Chaucer also provides us with an enlightening insight into Medieval society Here is an eclectic group of people thrown together by a situation that would have never allowed them to socialise otherwise and their cultural views and roles within this society are brilliantly exposedThis is nowhere so than in the case of the Pardoner’s Tale A pardoner is a supposedly religious man who sells ‘pardons’ – bits of saints bodies or pardons to ensure that the recipient who repents will gain a uicker passage to Heaven Well this may seem entirely out of touch with our society Yet what Chaucer exposes here is a corrupt religious practice and practitioners playing on the fears of those who have nothing and their primitive beliefs in hell fire and damnation whilst himself living an entirely immoral lifestyle governed by materialism pride and lust sound familiar? Unlike the other tales this is appropriately narrated from the setting of another inn which allows the pardoner to drink throughout and attempt to peddle his wares rather less successfully at the conclusion of his taleHis tale which he takes some time to get around to after a long preamble about his experience of the world’s sins is the story of three rogues Indulging at an early hour of the morning they witness a funeral procession and when they are told that the corpse is an old friend who has been killed by a familiar local assailant – Death – they determine to find the figure of Death and kill him Yes indeed they are foolish rogues On the way into the forest to meet their target they encounter an old man who claims that he wishes to die but can’t However he is able to tell the rogues where to find Death as he has searched for him If they follow a short path into the forest they will find Death They promptly do exactly this only to discover an enormous treasure of gold Sending their youngest member back to town for victuals to consume whilst they wait as they cannot simply take the gold home without arousing suspicion they each begin to formulate their own plots Without revealing too much it is soon obvious that it is not merely gold that they have discovered in the forest at allThis is a superb tale and I certainly enjoyed it as much as that of the ‘Wife of Bath’ and than ‘The Nun’s Priest’s Tale’ that I read last year The story is at once sinister with its gothic overtones and at the same time darkly comic whilst being told by a charismatic narrator – the kind of character we love to hate and have to listen to The tale and prologue contains both a moral imperative and a religious satire At only about 700 lines or so including introduction this is an easy read However I would strongly recommend reading an annotated edition that can provide you with an insight into not merely some of the less familiar language but also to some of the contextual details that enable a fuller understanding of the textThere is also a superb adaptation aimed at younger audiences made by the BBC in 1998 which I feel captures some of the spirit of the main narrativeyoutubeIf you are looking for a first taste of Chaucer this is definitely the text for you lively entertaining and brilliantly written yet also utterly revealing of the era I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Pardoner’s Tale’

  3. Alannah Clarke Alannah Clarke says:

    This was the tale I had studied at A level and my first taste of Chaucer I hated this character he was as corrupt as others in his profession But yet he is seen to be boasting of his corruption I remember when I was studying this I mainly found the context interesting which was the corruption of the church at the time and Chaucer calling on it

  4. Joanna (BookandPages) Joanna (BookandPages) says:

    Oof Some of the things you have to read for school

  5. Joey Woolfardis Joey Woolfardis says:

    Short review from memory until I re read and re review at a later dateThe second book I've been made to read in academic circles that I've actually enjoyed? I think so What I liked so much was that it's in Ye Olde English which is great but often hard to understand Reading it in both ways translated and original will definitely be done I feel

  6. Katie Katie says:


  7. Phil Phil says:

    Fragment VI of The Canterbury Tales consists of just two tales from the Physician and the PardonerThe Physician's tale is another of Chaucer's tales of abused women This time a young girl just 14 years of age who is beautiful and free from vice about whom the local judge develops a fixation He rigs up a legal case stating that the girl isn't the man's daughter but an escaped servant and forces the man to surrender his daughter to a paid lacky of the judge The man goes back to daughter and convinces her to kill herself instead of submitting to dishonour The mob then discover what's happened and kill the judge Lots and lots of similarities to the story of the Rape of Lucrece which Shakespeare turned into a long poem but on the back of half a dozen similar stories in the tales it's all starting to grow a bit samey and bit anti womenThe Pardoner however is a different kettle of fish A braggart a self publicist a self deluded hypocrit a lover of words a man who apparently sees nothing wrong in revealing to all how he fleeces the poor folk out their few pennies to kiss a sheep's shoulder bone as a holy relic He knows it's all fake and relishes in the explanationsHis tale is an allegory about the love of money being the root of all evil Three drunken gamblers hear from the innkeeper that Death is slaying the villagers so they set off to beat up and kill Death and become heroes On the way they meet an old man on a stile and abuse him I got the impression that the man is probably Death in human form who tells them to look under a nearby tree where they find bags and bags of gold coins They promptly forget about their plans to kill Death and plan to steal the money They send the youngest away to buy supper while he's gone the two older ones plot to stab him when he returns to have a two way rather than a three way share but the younger one puts poison in their wine while he's away so they'll die and he will have all the money to himself alone Ultimately all three die Proving that greed never pays gross hypocrisy from the mouth of the Pardoner of courseThe story ends in hilarious ribald crude fashion from Chaucer when the Pardoner turns to the pilgrims themselves and suggests that they pay him to be pardoned or to kiss his relics He asks the host first a big mistake he turns and tells himNay nay uod he thanne have I Cristes curs Lat be uod he it shal nat be so theech Thou woldest make me kisse thyn olde breech And swere it were a relyk of a seint Though it were with thy fundement depeint But by the croys which that Seint Eleyne fond I wolde I hadde thy coillons in myn hond In stide of relikes or of seintuarie Lat kutte hem of I wol thee helpe hem carie; They shul be shryned in an hogges toordNo No said he then I'd have Christ's curseLet it be said he it shall not be soYou would make me kiss your old breechesAnd swear it was a saint's relicThough it was stained by your arseholeBut by the cross that Saint Elaine foundI wish I had your bollocks in my handInstead of relics or sanctuaryI'd cut them off and help you carry them;They'll be enshrined in a hog's turdChaucer at his crudest you've gotta love it

  8. Ncc Ncc says:

    I may or may not have rapped this entire story

  9. Keith Keith says:

    The Pardoner along with the Wife of Bath and the Host are the most vivid and dynamic of Chaucer’s pilgrims The Pardoner is a wretched man boastful of his nefarious arts yet confident enough to then ply them on his fellow pilgrims It’s not enough that he is a con artist he must tell others of his exploits But he can’t help but then try to con them with his tricks When trying his arts on the Host the Host takes him down a few pegs responding he’d rather cut off his the Pardoner’s testicles and carry them in hog’s turds rather than kiss the Pardoner’s relics The Pardoner’s story is great What I find most interesting is the old man who is also seeking Death – not to kill it but to submit to it Worn by time and age made weak and withered he seeks to return to the Earth to the mother and he raps upon the ground with his cane to gain entrance It’s a very stark interlude in an already dark story The Cambridge edition has a very good introduction providing the context of the story and some important historical background The text of the story itself though it pointless to read It provides no footnotes and the endnotes are sparse and difficult to use If you are already familiar with Chaucer’s English this is the reading edition for you If not enjoy the introduction and then go to the Everyman’s Library edition that puts copious notes right on the page to assist in the reading

  10. Declan Declan says:

    The Pardoners tale although somewhat off putting with Chaucers language tells us than 'som moral thing' but in fact many great lessons for our lives to keep using many biblical terms and phrases to heighten these His sermon interlude is stunningly inserted betwixt his prologue hideous description and tale of the three 'revellers' who blaspheme in hunting for death but instead despite their 'brethren' and brotherhood beliefs end up being the deaths of eachother as they find florins of gold and not satisfied with what they have plan and plot to kill one another This heightens the sharpness of Chaucers wit and his ultimate ironic ability to describe character and characiture Although reading this can be a challenge I highly recommend it because the repugnant character that is The Pardoner is brilliantly executed by Chaucer as he is the ultimate villain and although we may be shocked to learn this we know from historical sources that chaucer is in fact following historical fact as Pardoners in the 14th century of the Catholic church were uttelry immoral and true crooks of their tarnished trade selling these so called 'relickes' to earn money for the church to undergo constructions of such projects like the Sestine chapel Nevertheless naturally we like the villains who revel in their own villiany and The Pardoner most definitley does this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Canterbury Tales Thrifty Classic Literature Book 74 The Canterbury Tales recounts the stories told by pilgrims to one another as they make their way from London to the shrine of St Thomas à Beckett in Canterbury This volume contains the Pardoner’s Tale a story rich in detail about the exploitation of ordinary folk in medieval times at the hands of men of religion This interlinear edition places Chaucer’s original middle English text in alternating rows with a new translation into modern English This allows readers to understand unfamiliar words and phrases immediately; and without needing to look elsewhere The translation into modern English differs only slightly from those found elsewhere Here the key difference is that each line is translated separately and thereby avoids the problem seen in some translations that words are borrowed from adjacent lines to help maintain Chaucer’s rhyming structure Accordingly this translation adheres closely to Chaucer’s own words; although in doing so it may occasionally contain rather descriptive explanations than is usual in translated works Nevertheless this ‘word for word’ approach will greatly assist those new to Chaucer’s middle English Parents will be pleased that The Pardoner’s Tale contains no lewdness or vulgarity as can be found in some of the other Canterbury Tales In this regard it may appropriately be studied at Middle School level This volume contains the complete and unabridged text with line Numbers together with an easily understandable translation into modern English which means it offers excellent value for money

About the Author: Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer c 1343 – October 25 1400 was an English author poet philosopher bureaucrat courtier and diplomat Although he wrote many works he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales Sometimes called the father of English literature Chaucer is credited by some scholars as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacu