The Friar and the Parson
In The Canterbury Tales, by Chaucer, there seems to be a fairly immense difference between his ideal character of the Parson and the Friar. Usually, since both are members of the Catholic Church, one would suspect that their ideas are much alike since priest had to take vows of poverty, chastity, and compliance to the church. Some things that’s priest were supposed to do were help the sick, poor, and outcast of society, and when a priest was confronted by sinners he was supposed to grant absolution by having them earn clemency by prayers, not by money. When it comes to similarities to currency, their love for people, and obligation, however, all is far from the case.
When we assess the parson we can characterize him as being benign and never malign to the poor. The Parson lives in poverty, but is rich in holy thoughts and deeds. One important detail about the parson is he practices what he preaches. In (502-505) in the prologue Chaucer states “He neglected not in rain or thunder, in sickness or in grief, to pay a call on the remotest, whether great or small, upon his feet, and in his hand a stave.” In this quote the parson is depicted as an unselfish and true as he sets out in any weather and for whatever reason he is called upon, whether to help the sick, poor or mourning. In the next quote on (525-528) he portrays the parson to be modest “Holy . . . never disdainful, never too proud or fine, But was discreet in teaching and benign.” It is important for a priest to set a good example for the people, and in here he is not conceited or ignorant, but lives a good Christian life. Lastly priest were expected to live by what they preach so on lines (507-512) “First following the word before he taught it . . . That if gold rust, what then will iron do? For if a priest be foul in whom we trust no wonder that a common man would rust.” This is a true example of a priest in the middle ages, and how he should know Christ’s gospel.
Now on the other hand we have the friar who was malign to the poor and took what little money they had, but should a man or women of high social status were to come in he would associate and beg, he also could be seen taking silver for penance. The friar can easily be recognized as the pimp. In lines (250-254) “nothing good can come of dealing with the slum-and-gutter…