The Pardoner and the Friar is an allegorical exploration of religion’s politics. The Friar--a traveling churchman--is trying to convince the local townspeople to give him money. In return, he will pray for their souls; he is, after all, a holy friar and close to God. But then along comes a Pardoner, a man who wields papal permission to sell holy relics in order to save people’s souls. At the church, these two men begin a debate of religious ideology, determined to win the hearts, minds, and money of the locals. When the church’s parson tries to end their feud, he stumbles into a conflict of more gravity than he could have imagined. A lesser-known work by John Heywood, The Pardoner and the Friar reveals the uncertainties of religion and faith that permeated the early 1500s in England.
The Pardoner and the Friar guide sections