The Canterbury Tales - the Nun Prioress

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In the reading "The Canterbury Tales" by Geoffrey Chaucer, there is a detailed description about the nun Prioress in the "General Prologue". Chaucer uses physical and spiritual relationships to show the characteristics of a person. When we see the nun in relationship to other characters, for example the Knight, Chaucer makes the reader see two types of people. On one hand, the nun who gives much importance to minor things. On the other hand, the Knight who gives much importance to things that really matter. To describe how the nun was Chaucer writes with irony the description of the nun Prioress, everything that Chaucer says about her means the opposite.

Chaucer describes a nun Prioress called Madame Eglantine. A nun should be modest, had to have poverty, and pity. Chaucer describes the nun in the opposite way to show us, how the nun Prioress had all the characteristics that a nun should not have. She was a nun modest, well educated and with good manners. She also had tender feelings, and a strong love for God and his creations. The author connects the relationship between how she sang and with her nose. He is sarcastic when relating her physical and spiritual beauty. "She sang the divine service well, entuning it in her nose in a most seemly way." (122-123) She was a well educated person, who reflects her manners in her language and with her actions. "She spoke French well and properly" in this quote properly means with good manners, not with slang words or with the popular language used in France. "For the French of Paris was unknown to her."(124) All of these characteristics show how the nun Prioress was focused on things that should not be important for a nun.

Among her minor things, the nun in the tale actions was cautious and splendid. Her manners were unique, and practiced with perfection. "Her table manners were admirable: she never let a morsel fall from her lips, nor wet her fingers too deeply in the sauce; daintily she carried a morsel to...
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