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We obtain more insight on the thoughts of the Pardoner through the description of his method of telling tales to trick people. We see this when he says “For lewed peple loven tales olde;/ Swiche thinges kan they wel reporte and holde”. From these two lines, we get the impression that the Pardoner holds himself in high regard because he sees other people as ignorant and simple-minded.
This idea of self-importance is again emphasised in the later lines when he says “For I wol preche and begge in sondry landes;/ I wol nat do no labour with mine handes,/ Ne make baskettes, and live therby,/ By cause I wol nat beggen idelly” and “That I wol live in poverte wilfully? / Nay, nay, I thoghte it nevere, trewely! “. His refusal to even think about living in poverty and his unwillingness to put himself down and do manual jobs reflects on how he thinks he is of high social status. This is ironic because by gaining wealth through such unscrupulous means of tricking people, he is the one who is truly of lower moral character.
We also gain insight on his character from his description of his job. He says that he would still want to enjoy the monetary gains from all his trickery even if “Al were it yeven of the povereste page,/ Or of the povereste widwe in a village,/ Al sholde hir children sterve for famine”. This three lines really show the extent of the evil side of the Pardoner that he almost seems inhuman and unfeeling because he shows no sign of discomfort in enjoying even at the expense of another person’s life. We can gain another insight on the methods that the Pardoner uses when he says, “Now hoold youre pees!
My tale I wol biginne”. Over here, the Pardoner is telling everyone to keep quiet and listen to his story. This is quite dramatic and we are reminded of the theme of performance because it seems as if he is acting for the other pilgrims. In conclusion, we are already able to see the various themes of The Pardoner’s Tale through the concerns and methods used by the Pardoner in the Prologue. Furthermore, this also contributes to providing us with a better characterisation of the Pardoner. This better understanding of the Pardoner is useful in comprehending the tale which he goes on to tell.