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Canterbury Tales Nun Prioress Essay

Decent Essays
It is human nature to want things they cannot have or to not be satisfied with their life. In the story, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, this human nature is most reverently displayed in the character of Nun Prioress, because she wants to appear as a woman of higher class. Through the use of literary elements, such as characterization, symbolism and satiric irony, Chaucer is able to illustrate how the Nun Prioress reflects the most basic of human traits, which is the desire to want something they cannot have. Chaucer’s story clearly illustrates the idea of how people want to be something they can’t because they are not satisfied with their life. This is seen when the Nun Prioress is first introduced in the story, as a woman who is supposed to be modest and pure but is flirtatious and risqué,…show more content…
“Her mouth full small and thereto soft and red.” (Chaucer 153). The color red can be seen as a color of passion and this symbolizes how the nun does not believe in chaste love. Chaucer has created a satiric character, nun prioress, who is supposed to be a leader of the Roman Catholic Church but behaves like a woman of higher class. Through the use a satiric irony, Chaucer illustrates the nature of human beings which is to want things they cannot have. This is seen when the Nun Prioress she acts as if she is from a higher class and not humble like a typical nun. “She was so charitable and pitous” (143). The nun’s personality traits are what add onto the satiric irony which include making sure to eat properly “She let no morsel from her lips fall, nor wet her fingers in the sauce to deep” (128-129), speaking in an educated manner such as attempting to speak French “And French she spoke full fair and fetisly” (124) , appearing “dainty” to the other travelers “ Wept if one of them were dead” (148) , and also introducing herself as Madam Eglantine rather than nun
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