The “General Prologue” provides us with no evidence as to the character of the Nun’s Priest. Only in the prologue to his tale do we finally get a glimpse of who he might be, albeit rather obtusely. As Harry Bailey rather disparagingly remarks: “Telle us swich thyng as may oure hertes glade./Be blithe, though thou ryde upon a jade” (p.235, ll2811-2812). I say this cautiously because much criticism has surrounded the supposed character of the Nun’s Priest, his role in the tale, and his relationship to the Canterbury Tales as a whole. One example, in my opinion, of an unsatisfactory reading is exemplified by Arthur Broes’s 1963 article “Chaucer’s Disgruntled Cleric: The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.” Broes argues that the Nun’s Priest is an “erudite
In the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer describes the men and women of the Church in extreme forms; most of these holy pilgrims, such as the Monk, the Friar, and Pardoner, are caricatures of objectionable parts of Catholic society. At a time when the power-hungry Catholic Church used the misery of peasants in order to obtain wealth, it is no wonder that one of the greatest writers of the Middle Ages used his works to comment on the religious politics of the day.
Chaucer's "The Nun's Priest's Tale" is at once a fable, a tale of courtly love, and a satire mocking fables and courtly love traditions. To this end, Chaucer makes use of several stylistic techniques involving both framing and content. The tale begins and ends with "a poor widwe somdeel stape in age" (line 1), but the majority of the content involves not the widow but the animals on her farm, in particular an arrogant rooster name Chauntecleer. The first mention of the main character does not come until the twenty-ninth line, after twenty-eight lines of minute description of the widow and the farm. The donation of large amounts of time to detail slows down the plot of the story; this plot is even further drawn out by the Nun's Priest's
Robert Henryson’s work is often compared to Geoffrey Chaucer’s and while he did not encounter the same fame, he does mirror Chaucer’s characteristics. Parallels between The Nun’s Priest’s Tale and The Cock and The Fox include style, themes, and character development. These tales are told in mock-heroic, which takes a trivial event and elevates it into something of greater importance. It treats a trivial event as if it were inspirational. Chaucer uses elevated language to describe a fox catching a rooster in a barnyard a far cry from the classic epics. When the fox, runs off with Chaunticleer in his jaws, the chase that ensues involves every creature in the barnyard, and the entire scene is narrated in the elevated language found in the great epics where language was used to enhance the deeds of epic heroes. The twist on a classical tragic style gives room for comedic and dramatic passages such as the near death scenes from each
Three of Chaucer’s tales are written with a central Christian theme, the Prioress’s Tale, the Second Nun’s Tale, and the Parson’s Tale. The Prioress’s Tale is said to be about a miracle of the Virgin Mary, the Second Nun’s Tale is a biography of Saint Cecilia, and the Parson’s Tale is considered a sermon. Just as The Canterbury Tales shows a theme of Christianity, it also shows a theme of religious corruption. In the tales of the Friar, Prioress, Pardoner, and Monk, corruption of the church is shown and influences each character in a different way. In the Friar, the focus is on money, horses, and the responsibility of his monastery. But, the Friar also seduces women and provide them with a spouse to stay out of trouble. In the tale of Prioress, Chaucer describes her as too busy being a court lady to take care of her nunnery. In the Pardoner, he takes advantage of others by taking money for giving pardons for the sins of others, even going as far as selling relics. The Monk takes money for forgiveness, refuses to help the poor, and pays other beggars to leave so he can attain all of the money from that area. He does all of this while he is supposed to be pledging his life to poverty and those less fortunate. Chaucer shows a theme of Christianity just as he shows a theme of religious corruption. As
The Canterbury Tales, written and narrated by Geoffrey Chaucer, explores manipulation and dishonesty in the Catholic Church. The Nun in “The General Prologue” exemplifies improper qualities to which a Prioress should have. Along with the Nun, The Friar in “The General Prologue” uses false information to gain customer. In “The Pardoner’s Tale,” the Pardoner uses greedy tactics to wield other pilgrims into buying his relics.In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chaucer uses the Nun and the Friar in “The General Prologue” and the Pardoner in “The Pardoner’s Tale” to show the hypocrisy in the Church.
During the Middle Ages, England was a nation in social chaos. Deception of every kind was rampart throughout the lands. Many people felt that there was a great need for moral improvement in society. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales he clearly brings to light his thoughts and concerns of “ethical cleansing.” No tale more fully expresses this idea than that of “The Pardoner’s Tale” and “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.”
The Canterbury Tales features a character called The Nun (The Prioress). Chaucer describe her as a friendly and charitable Nun with a big heart, but also makes fun of her actions and looks. For example, “And she spoke daintily in French, extremely, after the school of Stratford-atte-Bowe, French in the Paris style she did not know.” (128-130). In addition to the blatant negativity he mentions “She was very entertaining” (141). He makes fun of her then mentions she is very entertaining as if she is entertainment to him. Her flaws and attitude are seen very clearly through the passage such as her bad french and table manners. This being said the Nun is told to be lower on social ranking. “To counterfeit a courtly kind of grace a stately
During the late middle ages, the power of the church was nearly unlimited; despite its holy mission the church was plagued by corruption and misconduct. Member’s of the clergy sold indulgences, bribed officials, and abandoned their vows. The religious characters in the Canterbury Tales are used to demonstrate the author's views of the Church. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chaucer uses The Friar and the Nun in the “General Prologue” and The Pardoner in the “Pardoner’s Tale” to show the systemic corruption that is present in the church by exhibiting their immoral behavior. The Friar take from the destitute, the nun is overly concerned with the refined and the pardoner's only interested in the monetary gain.
In the Canterbury Tales, Chaucer gives a detailed description of what life was like in Medieval times . In the “Prologue”, the reader comes to better understand the people of the time period through the characters words and actions. Chaucer uses a variety of groups of society to give the reader a deeper insight into the fourteenth century Pilgrims customs and values. Through the Court, Common people and the Church, Gregory Chaucer gives a detailed description of ordinary life in the medieval times.
The Monk in The Canterbury Tales is very contradictory to this common view. The man refutes his quiet reserved code to explore the modern world for answers. As opposed to taking care of normal duties he hunts and rides horses, which is against the code. The Monk ignores these rules. Chaucer asserts, "He did not rate that text at a plucked hen"(Chaucer 106). Chaucer is emphasizing in the prior line how the sacred texts the monk swore to live by are meaningless to him. Reasoning behind the Monk’s repulsion of the rules is because the rules are against what he is passionate about. Acosta agrees the clergyman may desire his title however does not favor the life of a monk, and in order to be a genuine monk he must quit hunting and begin the tasks of ordinary monks. Clerics like the Nun and the Monk initiate the questionable sanctity of Catholicism. Malfeasance
The Nun’s Priest’s Tale is an allegory that uses animals with human characteristics in order to portray the moral of the story. The story centers on a rooster named Chanticleer, who possesses many human qualities, such as speaking, singing, and the ability to dream. Partlet, a hen, is described as “polite, discreet, debonair, and companionable” (153). These are characteristics not typically associated with animals, which strengthens the message that the animals are representative of humans. Furthermore, Chanticleer and the other animals display human emotions, such as Chanticleer’s fear of his dream, Partlet’s disgust of Chanticleer’s fear, and the love that Chanticleer and Partlet feel for one another. Furthermore, the fox, Sir Russell, also
I think that Las Casas’s intention was one relating to his ideals as a true Catholic Priest. He had hoped to free the Indians from the injustice he saw before him and to save them the mistreatment given by the Spaniards. Although Las Casa had been involved in the exploitation of the Indian labor he freed his Indian slaves in 1514 and became one of the major voices against the Spanish atrocities committed against the native peoples of the Americas. This shows his compassion and empathy, Christian principles taught by Jesus Christ. Las Casa chose to follow his true Christian values in a time and setting when his home country and its entire government chose to enslave and exploit an entire race of people under their Christian façade. Although
The aim of any true satirical work is to poke fun at a certain aspect of society, while also inspiring reform to that very same aspect in one way or another. In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Chaucer satirizes the Medieval Church and those associated with the church. Medieval society was centered largely around the Church. Ideally, the people were expected to understand that earthly possessions were meaningless when compared to the prospect of closeness with God. Man was expected to work until he died, at which time he would receive eternal salvation. This eternal salvation was achieved by obeying God's commandments. This theory, however, was becoming progressively corrupted as hypocrisy began to pollute the Church, particularly at the higher
The Medieval Period in history brought along scores of fables about everything from knights engaging in courtly love to corruption in the Catholic Church. The Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer expertly encapsulates many of the great motifs of the era. The Tales are a series of stories and descriptions of characters of all social classes that were composed in the late 1300’s. Chaucer utilizes a multitude of literary techniques to convey his personal views of people, and ultimately, what they represent in society. The author uses such devices when depicting two morally contrasting characters, the Parson and the Summoner, that are documented in the Prologue.