In the poem, The Canterbury Tales, there were two characters that were completely from each other. The two characters were two parts of a whole which is a dichotomy, for example there were a ying and a yang. The parson was the light side, which is the ying and the friar represents the yang.
The parson is a good man who is poor, but he is rich in holy thoughts and works. He was satisfied with himself for knowing he had very little, and he was also very benign, and was also ready to give his poor parishioners anything that he could get. Chaucer does this to show the good side of The Church, and Chaucer does not do that real often in his tales.

The friar is the exact opposite. He was the best friar around because no one knew as much dalliance and sweet talk as he did. He knew all the taverns, innkeepers and barmaids more than the lepers and beggars. He believed that being seen with paupers was not good for a man in his position and there was no profit to be made with them, unlike with the rich and the sellers of food which is profitable. He was also the best beggar in the area and no one else moved into his turf. In his tale he was a man that said he would pretend that he was holy. He also gives the best pardons to the people that give him the maximum amount of money. In the poem, Chaucer makes a statement that says he is the only person that practices his profession accurately.

During the Middle Ages friars were supposed to attack sinners and evil away from the people, but they soon figured out that this was a profitable business. The most ironic thing about the friars was that they were supposed to drive evil away from people, but they committed evil deeds themselves. In Chaucer’s mind the parishioner was the stereotype example of what priesthood should be like. If someone could not pay there taxes to the church he did not believe in excommunicating them, unlike a lot of other people during this time. The parson is a prime example of a Shepard tending to his flock of sheep. He always protects them from evil doers and sinners, like they were wolves trying to eat them.


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