The ecclesiastical corruption
                     -- how did the pardoner view his work


Canterbury Pilgrims. As a matter of fact, the
     Pardoner is a victim of the sin of despair,
     wanhope, the occasion for which is ultimately
     his physical affliction, which is setting him
     apart from other man. Afflictions borne in
     patience lead to acceptance and to the love of
     God and neighbor; afflictions borne in impatience
     lead to resentment and to the hatred of God and
     neighbor. The opposite of charity is cupidity,
     and that is the primary reason that the Pardoner
     preaches on the theme of cupidity. He is full of
     hate, both for the God who afflicted him and for
     mankind from which he is separated by his
     difference. Thus he turns the gift of great intelligence
     which God has given him into a weapon with
     which to attack the fellow man whom he hates
     and despised. The Pardoner is perfectly aware of
     what he is doing; he recognizes the might of God,
     but will not serve Him. He is afflicted by his sin,
     realizes that he is so afflicted, and yet continues
     in it. Perhaps we can know that the Pardoner's
     spiritual state is abnormal.

                            His bitter antagonism toward his fellow pilgrims
                        is intensified by their attempt at censorship.
                        Although his tone is ironic, and he insists upon his
                        drink, pretending he needs time to think of
                        "some honest thyng," he gives no indication of
                        his bitterness:
                        I graunte, ywis, quod he, but I moot thynke
                        Upon som honest thyng whil that I drynke.  (39-40)
                          Then he deliberately uses the Pauline theme,
                       Radix malorum est cupiditas, which means—
                       Love of money is the root of all evil, in order to
                       further his own avarice. His tone is contrived,
                       "I peyne me to han an hauteyn speche," and he
                       knows everything "by rote that I telle"; (44)
                       obviously he had no need for time to think on
                       "some honest thyng."

                          Generally speaking, in the Pardoner's prologue,
                       he reveals clearly his sin against the Holy Ghost.
                       He expresses the idea that being the kind of sinner
                       he is, he is fully aware of the enormity of his sin
                       and glories in his pride of affliction.

                            The Pardoner is the central figure in ecclesiastical
                       corruption in Medieval Period. Not only is he evil,
                       but he recognizes his evil and rejoices in it. The
                       Pardoner calls attention to his own sinfulness cheerfully,
                       with pride. Chaucer used Pardoner's prologue and
                       tale to represent the ecclesiastical corruption in
                       the middle ages. He used high comedy to have the
                       reader himself, through laughter, wake to the fearful
                       truth embodied in the satanic figure of the Pardoner
                       selling the grace of God for the damnation of human souls.