The Nun's Priest's Tale

By: Nichole Currier

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Summary

The Nun's Priest's Tale starts out with the description of a farm and some of it's inhabitants, specifically a rooster named Chauntecleer. Chauntecleer is loved and admired by everyone on the farm because of his beautiful crow. One night he had a terrifying dream where he was taken and killed by a fox. One of his many wives named Pertelote awoke to his groaning in his sleep and asked him what was the matter. He told her about his dream and how he was scared of it becoming reality. She told him that it was just a dream and not to worry. Chauntecleer ignorantly took advice from his wife and forgot about the fox. About a month after he had his dream though, he saw a fox. The sly fox charmed Chauntecleer and asked to hear his crow that he had heard so much about. Chauntecleer got ready to crow by stretching out his neck and just as he was about to sing, the fox caught him by the throat and ran off. Eventually, he broke free of the fox's grasp and flew up a tree. The fox tried using charm and flattery to get him to come down but the rooster knew better than to trust the fox again.

Background of the Nun's Priest

The Nun's Priest is one of the three priests that accompany the Prioress on the journey to Cantebury. He protected her on their journey and listened to her confessions along the way. The reader of the tale can gather that he might have antifeminist views because of the way he portrays the female characters.

Moral of the Tale

The moral of the tale is to not trust in flattery and charm. By reading this tale it is learned that the narrator might not be that fond of women because Chauntecleer almost got killed by listening to one of his wives. He also makes comparisons from this to Adam and Eve and how Eve was deceived by the snake.
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One Thing I had to Research

For this tale I had to research who Cato was. In the tale when Chauntecleer is giving his wife reasons as to why she should listen to her dreams, he brings up Cato and his beliefs. I had heard Cato's name before and I knew that he was a philosopher but I didn't know what his exact thoughts and ideals were so I looked him up to understand the tale better.

Vocab Words

scanty(line 13)- not adequate, barely sufficient

apoplexy(line 21)- a stroke

aghast(line 69)-struck with overwhelming shock

regal(line 356)- resembling a king

beguile(line 609)- to influence by trickery


Essential Questions

  • How are people fooled by charm and trickery today?
  • What affect does this tale have on you?

The Nun's Priest's Tale