Essay title: The Nun’s Priest’s Tale
The Nun’s Priest’s tale begins with the mention of a poor old widow living in a cottage.The majority of the first page of the short story deals with the details of this woman’s life.
Only after every detail of her person and her farm has been revealed is the main character, Chauntecleer, introduced.The story also returns the focus to the woman at its end.The framing of the story is such that the events of the story all occur within the confines of this woman’s life.
This clever framing does not allow the reader to adequately realize the characters in the story; they are, at any given point in the story, less than human.The high language and content of the story quickly deflates when one realizes that Chauntecleer is nothing more than a rooster on a farm owned by a humble old widow, and the fox nothing more than a hungry wild animal on the prowl.Chaucer effectively mocks the courtly love tradition by pointing out that the characteristics of courtly love can be injected into even the most commonplace of situations.Chauntecleer, while described in heroic language, is merely a rooster out to survive, and mate.
Chauntecleer is no more heroic than any other rooster on any other farm; language merely manipulates this particular rooster to inflate him to heroic heights. The narrative interjections only further Chaucer’s satire.The Nun’s Priest interjects, in very lofty and dramatic tones, during central moments in plot advancement.The interruptions come in very traditional and noble language: O false mordrour, luring in thy den! O newe Scariot! Newe Geniloun! False dissimilour! O greek Sinoun, That broughtest Troye al outrely to sorwe! O.