“Radix est malorum est cupidas” means the love of money is the root of all evil. It is stated in The Pardoner’s Tale. The Pardoner’s Tale is one of The Canterbury Tales. In The Pardoner’s Tale, the Pardoner begins the prologue by fleetingly accounting his methods of conning people out of their money. Then, he begins to tell a tale. In the tale, three rioters are out to kill Death. They encounter an old man who explains he will wander the earth for someone who’s willing to exchange youth for an old age. He says “Not alas Death will take my life” (The Pardoner’s Tale 119). The men ask him where Death is. “Well sirs,” he said, “if it be your design /To find out death, turn up this crooked way/ Towards that grove, I left him there today /Under a tree, and there you’ll find him waiting” (Lines 154-157). They are directed to a tree, finding gold coins that they decide to `keep. The men decide to wait and move the gold the next day and draw straws to see which one will go to town to find food and wine. The youngest is the one who draws the straw. While he is gone, the others decide they’re going to kill him and divide his money for each other. However, the youngest wants all the money to himself, so when he goes out, he buys poison with their wine. When the youngest gets back to the tree, the two other men stab him and drink the wine before getting rid of his body. Soon all three of the men find death. The old man who they met earlier in the story resembles death.
The old man reveals not even Death will take his life. Most people fear death and try to avoid it, but the old man seeks the ease of death. He waits eternally for his death to come. The old man states “Because I never yet have found, Though I have walked to India,/ searching round Village/ and city on my pilgrimage,/ One who would change his youth to have my age.” (Lines 113-116); meaning he is doomed to roam the world, through ages, never finding rest. The drunken rioters, on the other hand, seek Death...
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