The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's Chickens College

Humor makes life bearable. It brings joy to the vagrancies of humanity. Without humor, life would be hard to cope with. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is a perfect example of how humor can make life a joy to live and remind us that in this life, things in general do not need to be taken so seriously. The Canterbury Tales has entertained readers for hundreds of years with its wit and reference to other, more serious works, poking fun at them and satirizing their themes. For example, The Nun’s Priest’s Tale is a mock-epic poem. In addition to being a commentary on the social tensions of that time, this entertaining beast-fable parodies the themes made in epic works of literature, such as the Iliad, and makes allusion to characters such as those in the Bible. The purpose of The Nun’s Priest’s Tale is to make light of serious situations, calling the readers to not worry so much about the worries of this world and find the humor in dire circumstances.

The setting in which the Nun’s Priest tells his tale plays an interesting role for why it is related in the first place. The Nun’s Priest’s Tale is told in response to The Monk’s Tale in which the Monk recounts the stories of numerous tragic heroes. He tells his audience of Lucifer’s...

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