The Nun's Priest's Tale

from Canterbury Tales

The Plot

There is a farm owned by a poor widow. On this farm lived a rooster, Chanticleer, and his seven hens, wives. His main chick, Pertelote, is the one he sleeps with and loves the most, however. One night, Chanticleer has a dream in which he is kidnapped by a mysterious creature. After confessing his fear of the dream to Pertelote, she gets upset at him calling him a coward and not a real man. In response, Chanticleer tells of different tales of those who had had dreams foretelling their deaths. In each story the dreams came true. However, he is soon convinced and forgets about the dream. Then one day, a fox hiding in a bush, tricks and grabs Chanticleer by the throat running off with him. In the woods, Chanticleer manages to trick the fox into opening his mouth, where he then takes the opportunity to fly into a tree for safety. When the fox attempts to trick him one last time, Chanticleer responds saying that curse onto him if he should be tricked twice.

Character Summaries

Widow- poor, two daughters, owned the farm

Chanticleer- rooster, proud and great, had seven wives

Pertelote- wife of Chanticleer, held herself highly, obsessed with social commons

Side Chicks- other wives of Chanticleer

Fox- sly and crafty, uses trickery to kidnap Chanticleer

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Pilgrim Description

The priest having been identified as the Nun’s “assistant” buts holds a very low position. The priests is named Sir John.The tale describes his job not being a prestigious or a lucrative position and for that he is described riding a horse or nag that is “foul and lean”. The priest seem to not have no respect especially from the Innkeeper. “ See that your heart will always be merry” The priests is depicted to be always seem peaceful and calm by the text. Sir John is told to be a virile-looking man, (manly looking man) solidly built. “ See what a brawn….his eyes like a sparrow-hawk.”

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Morals, Lessons, and the Point of the Story

The moral of this story is to not be overwhelmed by flattery. The fox tricks Chanticleer at first but when Chanticleer becomes free of the fox he learns his lesson. Also Chanticleer succumbs to the fox’s trickery to come with him, but chanticleer also tricks the fox into releasing him by saying his is very brave and mighty. Since Chanticleer succumbs to flattery but also uses it to escape there could also be a moral that our greatest weakness can be our greatest strength.

Logan Hornyak

Flutter by Logan Hornyak