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Barron's Booknotes-The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer-Free Book Notes
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THE PARSON'S TALE

The Host urges the Parson to be quick, since it's dusk, but the Parson produces a long sermon in prose about the Seven Deadly Sins, not really a tale at all.

The Parson touches on penitence, confession, grace, pride, envy, anger, laziness, greed, gluttony and lechery. His lengthy sermon, which most people probably wouldn't sit through in church, nevertheless ties together all the arguments of the other pilgrims by putting them on a higher plane, and serves as a fitting end to the Tales. His tale emphasizes the spiritual values underlying the pilgrimage.


Like the Knight, the Parson is an ideal figure, so it also makes sense that one should begin the Tales and the other end them. However, because of the plodding and unpoetic quality of the Parson's Tale, some readers doubt it is written by Chaucer. Take a look and see for yourself how it compares with the other tales.

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Barron's Booknotes-The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer-Free Book Notes
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