The characters show opposing approaches to religious practice and the work of a man of God. The Pardoner is preoccupied with acquiring profit and shaming others for the sake of his own benefit. He is illustrating an unfavorable image of both himself and the church. The Parson, on the other hand, is an exemplary figure. He is a more virtuous man. He sets an example and works for the good of people.
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of 24 stories written by an English author Geoffrey Chaucer. The work details a group’s trip to Canterbury. During the journey, people tell each other stories in an attempt to win a tale-telling competition. Chaucer’s work is both culturally and historically important. It presents a variety of fictional characters that offer insights into the culture of the English Kingdom.
The Pardoner and the Parson are the central figures of the book. Both of them are men of the Church, religious practitioners that fulfill their roles. Although similar in the profession, their approach and attitude could not be any more different. The pardoner is a greedy and selfish man at heart. He sells pardons and fake relics from the church to people and bragging about it openly. The figure is twisted and unabashed in his pursuit. He even tries to sell some of his possessions to his travel companions after bragging of scamming people in a similar manner. The Parson is a more positive figure that does not chase personal gain or profit for his motive. The man feels obligated to set an example to the laypeople. He tries to be a shepherd among the lost and to show them the way of religious way. The two figures are in stark contrast with one another. They highlight the variety of Chaucer’s character choice.