The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
Miller, Clarence H., and Roberta Bux Bosse. "Chaucer's Pardoner and the Mass." 6 (1972): 171-84.
Chaucer characterizes the Pardoner in such a way as to make him a deformed image of the Mass. Readers can examine the Pardoner's Tale as an Amalarian allegory. The Pardoner's tavern vices are all related to the Eucharist, and the abuses of the mass in which the three revelers participate results in a medieval Black Mass. Throughout his tale, however, the Pardoner does not recognize how the Passion connects these vices. The end the rioters suffer is a perverted reflection of Christ's Passion.
Stevens, Martin, and Kathleen Falvey. "Substance, Accident, and Transformations: A Reading of the Pardoner's Tale." 17 (1982): 142-58.
In the Pardoner's Tale, Chaucer deals with Sophism. The exemplum shows the Pardoner as a sinner. Ultimately, the tale makes death out of eternal life. The tavern situation in which the Pardoner tells his tale parodies the opening of the Canterbury Tales and the pilgrimage itself. Readers can trace the imagery of transformation from life to death throughout the tale. The tale also contains elements of the Black Mass. These elements reduce Christ's sacrifice to the merely physical.