The pardoner’s "holy Jew"

William Chester Jordan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale is divided into four parts.1 The first of these, an Introduction that serves as transition from the Physician’s Tale, gives the circumstances in which the Host asks the Pardoner, one of the strangest of the Canterbury pilgrims, to tell a story. The second part is the Prologue. In it the Pardoner, an ecclesiastic licensed to give absolution and indulgences, describes himself, his tools, and his mode of operation. The story that he recounts to the other pilgrims is the third and longest element of the sequence. Here the Pardoner narrates the tale of three vicious ne’er-do-wells whose lust for wealth leads them all to pathetic, exemplary, and welldeserved deaths. The storyline is not original with Chaucer, although the manner of telling, the subtle characterizations, and the linguistic play are his alone. The last section in the sequence is a brief “Epilogue,�? not explicitly marked as such by either Chaucer or his various editors, in which the Pardoner reprises some of the themes first given expression in the Prologue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChaucer and the Jews
Subtitle of host publicationSources, Contexts, Meanings
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781135365240
ISBN (Print)0415938821, 9780415938822
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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