Study Guide

The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue & Frame Story The Pardoner's Introduction

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The Pardoner's Introduction

  • The Host, very much moved by the injustice described in the Physician's tale, draws a moral from it: that the gifts of Fortune and Nature cause many creatures to die, and often do more harm than good.
  • The Host tells the Physician his tale is very sad, and asks God's blessing upon the Physician and all his instruments.
  • The Host says that, unless he gets a piece of cake or some beer, or hears a merry tale, his heart will break for sadness.
  • The Host asks the Pardoner to tell a tale of happiness or jokes.
  • The Pardoner agrees, but says that first he will stop at a tavern by the roadside to eat cake and drink beer.
  • The nobles in the company, afraid that the Pardoner's ingestion of alcohol will cause him to tell an R-rated tale, object and ask the Pardoner to speak about virtue and not sex.
  • The Pardoner agrees, but says he must consider such a tale while he drinks.

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