Theme Of Irony In The Pardoner's Tale (2023)

765 Words4 Pages

To fully appreciate the layers of irony in “The Pardoner’s Tale,” you must consider all types of irony. There are three types of irony: verbal irony is when something is said that contradicts the truth, or is the opposite of how the person speaking truly feels, situational irony is when events have an affect on a situation to make the outcome the opposite of what was expected, and dramatic irony is when the significance of actions and doings of the characters in a story are obvious but the characters within the story remain oblivious. Within “The Pardoner's Tale” in The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, all types of irony are used throughout the story in order to show society uses deliberate ignorance to justify its wrong doings. Particularly,…show more content…
Being a high ranking member of the church, he teach’s a tale of greed to gain indulgences. The irony in this is the fact that he fuels his own with a lesson on the dangers of greed, “I only preach to satisfy my greed.”(433). In addition, the pardoner’s admittance to his hypocrisy and greed is a form of verbal irony within itself, “Yes, I myself can preach against the vice/ Of avarice that is my own device:/ for though I’m guilty of that very sin”(427-429). Both examples of irony present the pardoner’s knowledge of his wrong doings. However, he still cast a willful blindness to his sins. Within the tale, three friends set off to find and kill death, “With this false traitor death we’ll do away:/ The slayer of so many we shall slay”(699-700). This is a use of dramatic irony as the audience knows that not only can they not kill…show more content…
This is ironic as the pardoner tries to get the group to give him money after telling them how it was all a scam, “My holy pardon saves you from all this:/ If you will offer nobles, sterlings, rings,/ Soome brooches, spoons or other silver things,”(906-908). While he knows that they know his faulsities he deliberately ignores this in order to try and proceed with his con. Another layer of irony in this is that he promises pureness while he himself is not pure, “If you will give. You’ll be as clean and pure/ As when first born.--And, sirs, that’s how I preach.”(914-915). To sum up, Chaucer has littered irony all throughout “The Pardoner’s Tale”: in the prologue, tale, and epilogue. Chaucer has also use three different types of irony within the story: verbal, situational, and dramatic irony. All in all, the irony used was meant to show how society is deliberately ignorant at times for self gain, this is still occuring today as it did during Chaucer's time. In the words of Palpatine, “it’s ironic”(Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the


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Theme Of Irony In The Pardoner's Tale? ›

Chaucer uses “The Pardoner's Tale” to expose that “greed is the root of all evil” through verbal, situational and dramatic irony. Chaucer uses verbal irony to prove that “greed is the root of all evil.” Verbal irony is when a person says the opposite of what he or she means.

What are the irony in the story of the Pardoner's tale? ›

The Pardoner tells a story with the intention of teaching the company that greed is the root of all evil, yet he tries to swindle them and get contributions even after he admits they are fake. This is ironic because he should be practicing what he preaches, but he does the exact opposite.

What are the three types of irony in the Pardoner's tale? ›

The moral “greed is the root of all evil” is portrayed in “The Pardoner's Tale” using verbal, situational, and dramatic irony.

What are two ways that the Pardoner's tale is filled with irony? ›

Thus, his text contains a double irony: His love for money is the root of his evil, yet his sales depend upon the purchaser's love of money. Furthermore, his technique of relying upon basic psychology by selling only to the good people brings him more money.

What is the central irony in the Pardoner's Prologue? ›

The strongest irony comes in lines (Riverside) 427-31 when he explains that avarice (greed) is his own vice and at the same time (line 425 'therefore') the vice he preaches against with such powerful effect that he brings people to repent of their avarice sincerely (but not himself, he is glad to note).

What is an example of irony in the Pardoner? ›

Situational, and Dramatic irony.
  • Verbal: When one brother tells the.
  • other that he can trust him.
  • Situational: The Pardoner saying that material gain is the root of evil even though he is convincing others to buy foe his selfish gain.
  • Dramatic: the old man telling the rioters they would find death.

What is one way that the Pardoner's tale is filled with irony? ›

The irony of the tale is that the three men try to kill Death but they are the ones who ultimately end up dead. Chaucer personifies Death as a killer of greed. The Pardoner's greed and selling of the relics is as prime example of the corruption of the church.

What is ironic about the Pardoner's job and what he preaches? ›

What is ironic about the Pardoner's job and what he preaches? The Pardoner's job is he preaches on the very sin he commits. He deceives people trying to buy pardons from their sins by selling false pardons to earn himself money. This is very greedy and he takes advantage of religion for his own monetary gain.

What is ironic about the Pardoner's hypocrisy? ›

The Pardoner who is a hypocrite and selfish, lies and tricks people by selling a fake religious relic for wealth. It is ironic because he is hypocritical by judging the men for being greedy when he himself clearly admits that he preaches for nothing but for the greed of gain.

What is the irony implicit in the Pardoner's question why make a sermon of it? ›

What is irony implicit in the Pardoner's question, "Why make a sermon of it"? Sermons usually teach lessons or something moral values. It is ironic because this story was supposed to teach something.

What is the main theme of the Pardoner's tale? ›

The Pardoner's Tale is an example, a type of story often used by preachers to emphasize a moral point to their audience. The Pardoner has told us in his Prologue that his main theme—“Greed is the root of all evil”—never changes.

In what way is the discovery the rioters make ironic? ›

In what way is the discovery the rioters make is ironic, or different from what you had anticipated? One might expect the rioters to discover a frightful person, beast, or other personification of Death under a tree. Instead, they find gold.

What is ironic about the attitude that the old man has toward death? ›

What is ironic about the attitude that the old man has toward Death? He refers to his grave as his “mother.” Most people refer to death as an event, not a person.

Which of these lines best explains the central irony in the Pardoner's? ›

Which of these lines best explains the central irony in "The Pardoner's Prologue"? "Thus can I preach against that self-same vice / Which I indulge, and that is avarice."

How essential is irony to the meaning of the story? ›

Irony is a literary device that contrasts expectations and reality. Storytellers use ironic situations to create humor, suspense, and an emphasis on a particular subject. By highlighting the incongruity of a situation or action, irony draws attention to a plot point, character trait, or thematic argument.

What is an example of irony in the Prologue of The Canterbury Tales? ›

In her prologue, however, the Wife of Bath admits to using trickery to deceive her husbands. She claims they were happy to obey her, but they were often acting under false pretenses. This is an example of verbal irony: when something is said but the speaker means something different.

What is the irony about the story? ›

Irony occurs when a moment of dialogue or plot contradicts what the audience expects from a character or story. In other words, irony in literature happens when the opposite of what you'd expect actually occurs.

How many layers of irony can you identify in the Pardoner's tale? ›

these three types of irony.

Which is an example of irony in the Canterbury Tales? ›

In her prologue, however, the Wife of Bath admits to using trickery to deceive her husbands. She claims they were happy to obey her, but they were often acting under false pretenses. This is an example of verbal irony: when something is said but the speaker means something different.


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