The Canterbury Tales

2. (a) Recall: List three characteristics of the Nun.

(b) Deduce: What details does Chaucer include in his description of the Nun to make gentle fun of her? Explain.

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modest, quiet, charitable and compassionate

She is the Prioress of her convent, and she aspires to have exquisite taste. Her table manners are dainty, she knows French (though not the French of the court), she dresses well.

The descriptions Chaucer uses make the Prioress seem far more worldly than a convent nun would ever have been. In her defense, many well to do young women were given over to the convent.