The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale

Geoffrey Chaucer's The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale text guide

Works of ChaucerThe Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale is also a brilliantly funny and clever poem. It uses satire, mockery, exaggeration and witty wording to raise questions in readers’ minds about the evils created by materialism.

It can be for difficult for modern readers to grasp the religious and cultural backgrounds to Chaucer’s poem. It was created in an intensely religious era and plunges straight into contemporary religious life and conflicts. At the same time, it raises questions about perennial human concerns: morality, body and soul, death and money.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey ChaucerThe son of a London wine merchant, Chaucer (c.1340 - 1400) was an important royal official. A prolific and influential medieval poet, he is widely loved - in particular for The Canterbury Tales, of which The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale is a part. Read more . . .

The Pardoner: Context

The PardonerThe Pardoner's Prologue and Tale were written in the Middle Ages. To understand this text, one needs to understand the world it was written in. Hit the link to explore a world so very different to the one we now live in. Read more . . .

Dive in to the The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale text guide

Synopses and commentary - Scene by scene synopsis, commentary and analysis of the entire piece.

Characterisation - Detailed analysis of the Pardoner, the Host and the Old Man.

The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale Timeline - Helpfully puts history, literary events and Chaucer's life side by side so you can make sense of events.

Themes and significant ideas - Research themes and significant ideas, such as the ththat feature in the text.

The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale e-book - Read the book and research the text, all for free and online.

How to do well in your essays

Decide what the key words of the question are, and underline them.

If you are asked to analyse an extract, read it through two or three times.

Do not adopt the first possible approach - be willing to dispute the terms of the question if you are given the opportunity.

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