How Is The Pardoner Different From The Parson In The Canterbury Tales?

In “Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer, the Pardoner and the Parson are two very different characters. The Pardoner is a church official who sells pardons, or religious indulgences, and is portrayed as a con artist who is more concerned with his own material wealth than the spiritual well-being of the people he is supposed to serve. He is described as having a “smooth voice” and a “false, deceitful look”. The Parson, on the other hand, is depicted as a good and virtuous clergyman who practices what he preaches and lives a simple life. He is said to be “poor in material wealth, but rich in holy thought and work”. The contrast between the two characters serves to illustrate the difference between false absolution and true spiritual guidance, and Chaucer uses them to explore the themes of corruption and morality in the church and society.

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