Canterbury tales

pardoner's tale

Mbongo valery

Radix malorum est cupiditas. The Pardoner was someone who was licensed to travel

about the countryside selling official church pardons. In the Canterbury tales he told the

story of three men. The three men died because of their greed. The story begins with the

men in a tavern drinking, gambling, cursing and committing a lot sins. They meet an old

man that says he has asked Death to take him but has failed, and that death can be found

at the foot of an oak tree. When the man arrive at the destination they find gold coins.

They then decided to stay there and guard the treasure. Since they were hungry, they drew

straws to see which one of them will go back to the village and bring back bread and

wine. When the one appointed to go to the village left, the others complotted to kill him

upon his return, while the one in the village poisoned the wine in the hopes of killing his

comrades and keeping the coins to himself. When the third man came back from the

village, the other two stab him to death and drank the wine which resulted in their

inevitable deaths. The three men died, thus the saying “radix malorum est cupiditas” or

“greed is the root of all evil”. They all wanted to be greedy and keep the coins for t

hemselves but instead they all died. At the end of the story, the pardoner asked the people

traveling with him for money so that their sins could be pardoned. The pardoner

condemns greed but demands for people to give him money in order for their sins to be

forgiven. The pardoner’s attitude indicates the very thing he condemns, greed.