In the prologue for the Pardoner and the Monk Chaucer satirises both characters, the Monk is only satirised lightly in his choice of vocation, whereas the Pardoner is satirised much more harshly for his morals. As a member of the church, the Monk should devote his time to religious matters, for example coping out the bible by hand. The Monk however is satirised by Chaucer for neglecting his duties, many times in the prologue, “An outridere, that loved venerie Ful many a deyntee hors hadde he in stable” This tells us that he had a lot of horses and loved hunting, not a sport encouraged by the church, in fact banned by them.Order now
There is not a direct criticism of the Monk contained within the description of the Monks actions, all it tells us is that Chaucer believes that the his priorities are confused, “And whan he rood, men mighte his briel heere Ginglen in a whistlinge wind als cleere And eek as loude as dooth the chapel belle” This indicates that the bells on his bridle were as attractive to him as the church bells, which were supposed to call him to prayer, this again criticises his actions as a monk not as a person.
The Monk obviously is an obsessed hunts man, “Grehoundes he hadde as swift as fowel in flight; Of priking and of hunting for the hare Was al his lust, for no cost wolde he spare” Once again this for a normal man would not be wrong, but for a man of the cloth this is totally the wrong thing to be interested in. He then tries to justify his priorities, of hunting, by claiming to be a new style of monk, where the old rules do not count. “The reule of Seint Maure or of Seint Beneit By cause that it was old and somdel streit This ilke Monl leet olde thinges pace, And heeld after the newe world the space. He yaf nat of that text a puled hen” This says that he does not follow the rules written by Saint Maur or Saint Benet, which were written as the day to day guide for how people should live their lives, which was a very blasphemous view for that time.
“He yaf nat of that text a puled hen, That seith that hunters ben nat hooly men, He is trying to defend his actions with an argument that is absolutely absurd, hunting which is the killing of animals, is against all of the teachings of the bible which tells one to preserve and care for life. As well as devoting their lives to the monastery monks should give up all material possessions and live a life of near poverty, however the Monk does not seem to have obeyed this rule, “with gris, and that the fineste of a lond And, for festne his hood under his chin He hadde of gold ywroght a ful curious pin.
This tells us that he had had the finest fur lined cuffs, which would have been expensive, he also has a gold pin fastening his hood, which is a fashion statement, not an appropriate type of clothing for a monk. Most people when they think of a monk imagine a pallid faced man with sunken cheeks, as he has not been eating well, however Chaucer describes the Monk in a different way, “He was a lord ful fat and in good point…