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Description Of The Prioress From Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.

884 words - 4 pages

852 words of an in-depth description of the Prioress Character from the Prologue of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Shows how Chaucer made fun of the character of the Prioress when writing his Canterbury tales.Chaucer's description of The Prioress in The Canterbury Tales (1472) is rife with subtle, witty comments that show with irony that The Prioress is not the coy, sweet stereotypical church figure the narrator may have perceived her to be, but more a pseudo upper class citizen whose devotion to manners were adsurb and useless in where she was and her foolish sentimentality.The Prioress's stifling attention to the manners she dearly values are shown by the lines "Hir gretteste ooth was but by sainte Loy!" The modern day meaning that her greatest oath was by a saint "associated with the journeys or craftsmanship, was also famous for his personal beauty, courtesy and refusal to swear" were not stereotypical and profound, crucial values for religious figures to hold important . The Prioress places extreme emphasis on these values that are mocked considerably such as the Prioress speaking French, the language upper class England spoke in Chaucer's time but not in the middle and lower classes "And Frenssh she spak ful faeleire and fetisly, After the scole of Stratford at the Bowe - For Frenssh of Paris was to hire unknowe" interpreted to mean the Prioresses vulgar pronunciation compared to elite Parisian French was obvious, yet the Prioress herself was oblivious to it.The colloquial for The Prioress eating and drinking habits imply she devours her food, not wasting any she never let any food fall from her lips, never wet her fingers in the sauce, she could carry a morsel keeping it and no drop of it would fall on her breast as interpreted from "She leet no morsel from hir lippes falle, Ne wette hir fingers in her sauce deepe, Wel coude she carye a morsel, and wel keepe, That no drop ne fille upon her breast". The Prioress had similar actions with her drink "Hir over-lippe wiped she so clene, That in hir coppe ther was no farthing seene." Modern day meaning for her over lip wiped so clean, that in her cup there was no grease. As to why the Prioress totally consumes her food becomes apparent that she is primarily focused on her manners. "In curteisye was set ful much hir lest" meaning "her chief delights lay in good manners." The Prioress is eating and drinking so well as not to seem ill mannered as...

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