This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Chaucer's The Nun's Priest Tale Essay

1747 words - 7 pages

I/ THE AUTHORI"'"d like to say a few words about the author first.Chaucer was the son of prosperous upper-middle class parents, fought in France, acted as a courtier, went on diplomatic missions abroad, and eventally became Controller of Customs in London. In common with all authors of his time, his poetry was written for his own personal pleasure and that of a group of friends, with no thought of publication, which in any event was not then technically possible; writing and the study of literature was merely an accepted hobby and accomplishment for those at Chaucer"'"s level of society.Chaucer"'"s writing fall into three periods-the French period (1359-72), including "'"The Boke of the Duchesse"'" (1369) and parts of '"'The Romaunt of the Rose'"' (1370), the Italian period (1372-86), including '"'The House of Fame'"', '"'The Parliament of Fowls'"', '"'Troylus and Cryseyde'"', and '"'The Legend of Good Women'"', and his mature period (1386-1400), from which The Canterbury Tales date. Of Chaucer"'"s works The Canterbury Tales are by far the best-known, probably first conceived in 1386. Chaucer was the first author to write in what was a recognisable English language. He wrote in the vernacular, the English that was spoken in and around London in his day.II/ SUMMARY OF THE FABLEThe Nun"'"s Priest Tale is a fable, a simple tale about animals that concludes with a moral lesson. It is about a cock and his seven wifes living on a farm belonging to a poor widow. The cock has a dream that he is going to be eaten by a dog-like creature, but his favourite wife, Pertelote, dismisses the dream as meaningless and tells him not to be silly. Some time later a fox comes into the yard and engages the cock in conversation. After flattering the cock about his singing (his name is Chanticleer, meaning "'"Sing clearly"'"), the cock finally persuades him to crow at the top of his voice. While the cock is straining to do this the fox grabs him by the throat and makes off. Just as the fox is about to drag him into the woods, the cock suggests that the fox turn and shout some abuse at their pursuers, people around alerted by the noise. The fox opens his mouth to do so, and Chanticleer escapes to a tree. That is the end of the story and the moral is a double-edged one: '"'Beware of flattery!'"' and '"'keep your mouth shut!'"'III/ THE BEAST-EPICThe Nun"'"s Priest Tale belongs to the genre of the Beast epic. It is usually an allegorical tale, often long in which animals are characters and in which the style is pseudoepic. The prototypal beast epic is almost certainly Roman de Renard, composed late in the 12th century by Pierre de Saint-Cloud. The first episode is the Chanticleer story later used by Chaucer in the Nun"'"s Priest tale.One of the main cause of the comical aspect of this fable is the ridiculous disparity between the manner of writing and the subject matter. Throughout the text we meet oppositions, contrasts between the learned and the crude, from the sublime to...

Find Another Essay On Chaucer's the nun's priest tale

Summary and Analysis of The Nun's Priest's Tale

743 words - 3 pages Summary and Analysis of The Nun's Priest's Tale (The Canterbury Tales) Prologue to the Nun's Priest's Tale: The Knight interrupts the Monk's Tale, for as a man who has reached a certain estate, he does not like to hear tales of a man's fall from grace. He would rather hear of men who rise in esteem and status. The Host refuses to allow the Monk to continue, instead telling the Nun's Priest to tell his tale. The Nun's Priest's Tale

Medieval Dream Theory and Animals in "the Nun's Priest's Tale"

1080 words - 4 pages Celeste WhiteDr. DoelmanENG 2307E 530October 28, 2014Medieval Dream Theory and Animals in the Nun's Priest's TaleThe Nun's Priest's Tale, from Chaucer's the Canterbury Tales, reflects upon the popular theme of dreams common in Medieval and Middle English literature. Chaucer offers a humorous presentation of the main dream theories held during the period. The argument between the two main characters of the tale, Chauntecleer and Pertelote

The Use Of Beast Fable In "The Nun's Priet's Tale"

560 words - 2 pages In Geoffrey Chaucer'sThe Nun's Priest's Tale, human characters contrast with the animal characters. Called a beast fable, the animals in the tale take on human characteristics. Although all of the characters - the widow, Chaunticleer, Pertelote, and the fox - are all relatively human, they are far different from each other. What is especially interesting is the way Chaunticleer and Pertelote interact with each other. The two characters, though

The Knight's Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

824 words - 3 pages The Knight's Tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Knight's Tale is one of the twenty-two completed Canterbury Tales by the celebrated English Writer Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400). The Canterbury Tales are a collection of 120 stories that Chaucer began writing in 1386, and planned to complete during his lifetime. Each of the tales features a large range of characters in a great variety of medieval plots, along with interesting

An Analysis of Chaucer's "The Wife of Bath's Tale"

962 words - 4 pages In reading Geoffrey Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales,' I foundthat of the Wife of Bath, including her prologue, to be the mostthought-provoking. The pilgrim who narrates this tale, Alison, isa gap-toothed, partially deaf seamstress and widow who has beenmarried five times. She claims to have great experience in theways of the heart, having a remedy for whatever might ail it.Throughout her story, I was shocked, yet pleased to encounterdetails which

Discuss Chaucer's comic method in the Miller's Prologue and Tale

2121 words - 8 pages Discuss Chaucer's comic method in the Miller's Prologue and Tale. Combine your personal response with reference to other critical opinion at relevent points in your argument. The Miller's Tale is undoubtedly Chaucer's most crude and vulgar work, but how far did Chaucer intend for there to be a moral to his story? Are we supposed to sympathise with the jealous but 'sely' carpenter when the wife whom 'he lovede moore than his lyf' is

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Idealism in the Knight's Tale

1834 words - 7 pages   Philosophy." Chaucer Review. Vol. 27. No. 2. Ed. Robert Frank. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University, 1992. Frost, William. "An Interpretation of Chaucer's Knight's Tale." Chaucer Criticism. Vol. 1. Ed. Richard Schoeck. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1960. Roney, Lois. Chaucer's Knight's Tale and Theories of Scholastic Psychology.   Tampa: University of South Florida Press, 1990. Spearing, A.C. The Knight's Tale. London: Cambridge University Press, 1966.  

The Miller's Tale- Chaucer's Response to Society's Flaws

977 words - 4 pages to the Wife of Bath, as the main character carries her name (Alison) and also married for money. Absalon is a parish clerk, materialistic, and also seeks the affection of the young wife (even though he is studying to become a priest and she is married). The tale continues as Nicholas concocts this crazy story simply for one night with Alison, whom also wants to have Nicholas- since she's bored and unhappy with her older and unattractive husband

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Enslavement and Freedom in the Knight's Tale

2099 words - 8 pages , John. "The Knight's Tale: The Dialogue Of Romance, Epic, And  Philosophy." Chaucer Review. Vol. 27. No. 2. Ed. Robert Frank. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University, 1992.   Frost, William. "An Interpretation of Chaucer's Knight's Tale." Chaucer Criticism. Vol. 1. Ed. Richard Schoeck. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1960.   Miller, Robert. Chaucer: Sources and Backgrounds. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977.   Roney, Lois. Chaucer's Knight's Tale and Theories of Scholastic Psychology.   Tampa: University of South Florida Press, 1990.   Spearing, A.C. The Knight's Tale. London: Cambridge University Press, 1966.  

Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" as a Parody of Courtly Love

672 words - 3 pages physical fruition; it is more holy than that. Her, as well as my, marriage is beneath our love, our love of admiration and complete devotion. She will swoon for me as I shall fight for her, and our spirits are forever intertwined. Physical love and lusty temptation are too worldly for us.These would be the thoughts of any proper knight toward his lady. "The Miller's Tale" is a satire of courtly love and its actuality in times contemporary the

Chaucer's The Cantenbury Tales: Comparison Of The Knights Tale To The Miller's Tale

1259 words - 5 pages Abraham's A Glossary of Literary Terms defines genre as " a term that denotes types or classes of literature." (Abrams, 108) Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales opens with two tales which fall under contradicting genres. Devotion, duty and honor are the greatest themes flowing through Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale," as it is from the genre of Chivalric Romance. It depicts a "courtly chivalric age, often one of highly developed manners." (Abrams, 35

Similar Essays

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales Comparing The Pardoners Tale And The Nun's Priest's Tale

837 words - 3 pages Irony in The Pardoners Tale and The Nun's Priest's Tale   Irony is the general name given to literary techniques that involve surprising, interesting,or amusing contradictions. 1  Two stories that serve as excellent demonstrations of irony are "The Pardoners Tale" and " The Nun's Priest's Tale," both from Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Although these two stories are very different, they both use irony to teach a

Chaucer: The Nun's Priests Tale Essay

1431 words - 6 pages allegorical aspect to the story of Adam and Eve, in which a woman was the reason that Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden. 'Wommennes conseil broghte us first to wo' However Chaucer as the priest is conscious he may offend with his criticisms of women and so says 'passe over, for I seyde it in my game... the cokes words, and nat mine.'Many feminist critics suggest that women are oppressed which if taking Chaucer's criticisms at face value

Canturberry Tales The Nun's Priest's Tale

950 words - 4 pages Canturberry Tales  - The Nun's Priest's Tale    This is a charming little fable cleverly disguised as a barnyard story.  In the first twenty-six lines, the setting of the story is described as a small farm, belonging to a very plain widow and her two daughters.  The widow is a simple woman of good heath, who has managed to make it despite her unfortunate circumstance of being slightly impoverished.&nbsp

The Hidden Meaning Of The Nun's Priest's Tale

3870 words - 15 pages its real meaning: "Womman is mannes joye and al his blis" (3166). His use of a flattering, malicious mistranslation is quite ironic, as flattery is his own undoing when he meets the fox. The height of Christian misogyny in the text is, however, given through the words of the Nun's Priest, which is ironically appropriate as he is a 'henpecked' cleric with a female superior. He tells us: My tale is of a cok, as ye may heere, That tok