December 27, 2016 General Studies

(A) O Lord, Our Lord, thy works how marvelous are given as gifts through Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales. For not alone thy praise so glorious is given by several characters traveling to the Cathedral at Canterbury. Wherefore in praise, as best he can or may, Chaucer tries to tell over one-hundred of these tales. O Mother-Maid! O Maiden-Mother free! Chaucer’s bush has burnt and he has died before finishing twenty-four tales. His virtue, which was thy soul’s delight, conceived in Thee the Father’s wise essence. Help the Prioress, the top nun on the journey, to speak now with all reverence. Guide her unto Thy Son so dear. The Prioress does so pray to Thee to guide her tale and so she is close to the Lord and still afar. Amen.

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(B) A medieval nun was to be devoted to the Lord. Nuns were supposed to center their lives on Christian principles. Chaucer’s nun was a Prioress and was ranked high in the ecclesiastical system. She was so devoted to the Lord that her tale even began with a prayer. The Prioress says prayers and helps people in their way of life in hopes to lead them to the Lord and heaven. .

(C)(D) Chaucer not only shows his amazement in her devotion, but also in how prim and proper she is through out the journey. Her respectable manners are viewed by Chaucer as “no morsel from her lips did she let fall” and “she would wipe her upper lip so clean that not a trace of greaser was to be seen upon the cup when she had drunk.” He describes these manners so much that they appear to be a show the Prioress sets up to make herself more appealing to men. Another trait that Chaucer describes is how sentimental she is: “As for her sympathies and tender feelings, she was so charitably solicitous”. Her high religious morals are seen by the brooch she wears with the inscription “All things are subject unto love” and by the string of green beads for counting prayers. These good qualities are then contrasted by sly wit when Chaucer says the Prioress speaks, “After the school of Stratford-atte-Bowe,” which implies that since she did not know the Parisian French then she spoke a rather crude language.


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