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The Vices Of The Clergy Essay, Research Paper

The Vices of the Clergy…

The period of the Medieval brought to a us a series of great literature. Much of the literature is now lost, due to many years of re-telling. The surviving tales, however, tell about the life of the era. The Medieval period, which lasted from 1100-1500, brought many stories and epic poems. Geoffrey Chaucer, during the period, had created his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales. This poem illustrates how the Medievel period was a time of corrupt, power hungry people, that were characters of sloth, greed, and gluttony.

The first sin often displayed by the characters is sloth. The Oxford Cleric demonstrated this particular sin throughout the poem. The Oxford Cleric was guilty of sloth in that ?He found no preferment in the church, and he was too unworldly to make search for secular employment.? (302-304) The Oxford Cleric was also a man of sloth due to the fact that, ?Whatever money from his friends he took he spent on learning or another book and prayed for them most earnestly, returning thanks to them thus for paying for his learning,? (309-312) instead of advising them to repent for their sins. The Summoner, another character, was also a man of slothful value. ?He would allow for just a quart of wine, Any young lad to keep a concubine,? (665-666) demonstrates his sluggardly beliefs. The Summoner had created a way for himself to be a slothful person. Instead of punishing people for their sins, he let them go in return for some wine.

The characters of the tale were quite corrupted. Not only were they slothful, but perhaps even worse they were taken much by greed. The Pardoner, a greed hungry character, often would do bizarre activities in order to receive money. He was a greedy man in the way that , ?He?d have to preach and tune his honey-tongue, And (well he could) win silver from the crowd, That?s why he sang merrily and loud,? (731-732) he would expect to gain money from his signing. He was also a greedy man due to the fact that, ?He had a cross of metal set with stones and in a glass a rubble of pigs? bones, and with these relics, nay time he found some poor up-country person to astound,? (717-720) he sold fake relics to satisfy his greed. Another greedy character , the Friar, would also do unusual activities in order to gain money. ?Sweetly he heard his penitents at shrift, with pleasant absolution for a gift,? (225-226) instead of making people pay strict penance, he would simple sentence in return for money. This demonstrates how the Friar was overtaken by greed.

The characters portrayed their slothful and greedy values throughout the poem. In addition to their already corrupt ways, they demonstrated gluttony. The Monk demonstrated gluttony through the fact that, ?Hunting a hare or riding at a fend, was all his fun, he spared at no expense. I saw his sleeves were garnish at the land, and on his hood to fasten at his chin, he had a wrought-gold cunningly fashioned pin,? (195-200) he longed for expensive gold items, instead of following the rules of church. The Summoner was a man of great gluttony by the way ? Garlic he loved, and onions too, and leeks, and drinking strong win till all was hazy,? (650-651) he overindulged himself with food and wine. He would drink to where, ?he would shout and jabber as if crazy, and wouldn?t speak a word except in Latin, when he was drunk, such tags as he was pat in,? (652-654) instead of summoning sinners.

Living a life of sloth, greed, and gluttony the characters in The Cantebury Tales, demonstrated the values of society during the Medieval period. Through well written classics the Medieval Period was exposed. The period was a time of great corruption. Not only did people act only for themselves, but they proceeded in beguiling others as well. The Cantebury Tales, explained much of the period?s behavior, and taught readers a great deal about the time.


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