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English 2 lesson 170: Do you think that the old man in the Pardoner’s Tale was death?

The story of Pardoner’s tale begins with 3 men vowing to each other to find death and kill it. Why would they wanted to suddenly kill death wasn’t written in the story, but we as readers can already understand that death is responsible for people’s tears of deceased loved ones and the cause of great devastation amongst human generation. During their journey they find an old man claiming he couldn’t die. The 3 men were so focused on killing death that they were impatient by demanding the old man to guide the way instead of asking politely.

The old man replied saying death is under a nearby tree, so that’s where they went. They found gold instead of death. All 3 of them suddenly got greedy and plotted to each other. In the end, they all died after the 3rd guy drank poison.

In my opinion it is most likely that the old man wasn’t death. What gives me a clue for this conclusion, is whenever the old man said, “Death cannot take me.” Whenever he said that I thought, well why would death itself say that death can’t get me. Unless it spoke about death getting himself out.

The author wasn’t too focused on the old man for he simply guided the three men where death was located. Since the old man can’t die, he could follow him around and therefore was able to easily the men where death was, because the old man was following it. The point of the story was that the men got distracted from their original goal of killing death to killing each other because of greed. If Death in this story was truly a physical being that searched for people, then he could have been the old man in disguise guiding them their deaths by killing each other. Death could have had the old man as a side kick to his plan to make fates way for the 3 men.

As I have mentioned above the 3 men seeked to kill death probably because of what death is by nature. Or this can be interpreted differently by saying that death is the hunter of men, therefore the 3 men want to get rid of this death who hunts man.

In conclusion, I conclude that there isn’t enough evidence to discuss who exactly the old man was, as we are not even entirely sure what Death was either. It could be interpreted in an easy way such as saying the old man was death luring people in or going the difficult route saying death was someone we least expected to be. It could have been the gold for all we know. The reason for that is because this story doesn’t even focus on who death was or what he has to do with the story. The point was about the men getting side tracked who ended up killing each other in the end.

Thanks for reading this essay. Hope you liked it or learned something new. I’ll be posting more soon and have a great rest of your day!

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