Chaucer's Pardoner

What is a pardoner?

Synopsis of the Prologue and Tale

The Prologue

The Tale

Major Themes

gluttony and death


avarice and gluttony


relics of martyrs

Underlying Questions

What he looks like

[Norton p97 General Prologue]
This Pardoner hadde heer as yelow as wex,
But smoothe it heeng as dooth a strike of flex;
By ounces henge his lokkes that he hadde,
And therwith he his shuldres overspradde;
But thinne it lay, by colpons oon and oon.
. . .
Dischevelee save his cappe he rood al bare.
Swiche glarynge yŽn hadde he as an hare.
A vernicle hadde he sowed upon his cappe.
His walet, biforn hym in his lappe,
Bretful of pardon, come from Rome al hoot.
A vois he hadde as smal as hath a goot,
No beerd hadde he, ne nevere sholde have;
As smoothe it was as it were late yshave:
I trowe he were a gelding or a mare.
. . .
He hadde a croys of latoun ful of stones,
And in a glas he hadde pigges bones