The Pardoner's Tale: Deception and Foolishness
There are several types of foolishness being described in the Pardoner's Tale itself. He describes gluttony in general, then specifically wine. He talks of gambling, taking bets and the like, and of swearing. The exemplum of his sermon describes three fools who go foolishly seeking death, then find it in a large amount of gold. Deception is another topic addressed by the Pardoner: he comes right out and says
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human condition that a character created literally hundreds of years ago, in a society that we would barely recognize today, could be so vivid and real with just a little introspection. The Canterbury Tales were written by a true master of poetry and human sympathy, and is one of the greatest works of English fiction and poetry since the Middle Ages.
The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: Norton and Company. 1993.