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what do we learn about the prioress and the monk from Chaucer's 'The prologue to the Canterbury Tales'?

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What do we learn about The Prioress and the Monk from Chaucer's 'The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales'? Geoffrey Chaucer was born around 1343 probably in London, although the exact date and location are not known. As a squire, Chaucer served in France on one of the many minor military expeditions which were undertaken during the Hundreds Year War. He was captured near Rheims. His ransom was paid by the King himself, proof of the regard in which Chaucer was held. In 1369 he was granted a small anuall pension by the King. He went on a trade mission to Italy on behalf of the King in 1372. From this point onwards his fortunes increase. He received many gifts and was promoted to important jobs in what was the fourteenth century equvalent of the Civil Service. Much of his work was connected with Customs and Excise. Largely as a result of the patronage of John of Gaunt, Chaucer became affluent and important. In the late 1380's John of Gaunt was sent on an expedition to Spain. He was replaced as an influence at court by the Duke of Glouster. The Duke of Glouster took away all Chaucer's privileged positions and gave them to his own friends. ...read more.


Chaucer writes: ''and frenssh she spak ful faire and fetisly'' She had wonderful table manners, she didn't let a scrap of food fall from her lips, when eating with her fingers she didn't dirty her palm. She was very entertaining in a friendly manner. She wore a gold shiny broach, which had'' Amor Vincit amnia'' meaning ''Love conquers all'', but instead it should be a religious inscription, which shows her devotion to God inscribed on it. Chaucer notices that she reveals too much of her broad forehead which should be covered by her wimple. It should be covered to show she is a humble and that she is proud to be a nun. She also has many dogs, too which she feeds the finest bread, much finer then shed ever eat. She hates to see animals stuck in traps or hurt in anyway. Which makes the reader think shed rather take care of animals then people in need ''She had some dogs which she fed with cooked meat, hot milk or the finest bread'' the poem also tells us about the Prioress's tendency to rebel against the religious rules. ''Her mouth was small, soft and red.'' This quote is saying that she probably wears lipstick Prioress's are not supposed to wear makeup, they are not supposed to be happy with their appearance, and they are not supposed to make an effort. ...read more.


However a difference between the two characters is that the Monk is more blatant than the Prioress in his disregard of the rules. Chaucer is saying many things through the Monk and Prioress about how the church was in his day. The Monk and The Prioress are supposed to obey the religious rules of the church, but however they both break many of them. The nun has a simple dress code, but she doesn't pay much attention to the rule. The wimple is supposed to come just above her eyebrows but she wears it much to high and it shows off her forehead. The Monk also has a simple dress code but too like the nun he disobeys. He wears an expensive fur coat. Monks are supposed to care for animals and not wear animal fur. Both t8he nun and the monk wear jewellery. The Monk wears an elaborately worked gold pin and the nun wears a shiny gold broach. The Monk wears his to fasten his fur coat and the nun wears hers on her robes. The nun's broach says ''Love Conquers All'' on it, but instead it should state something religious, an inscription to show her devotion to God. This says many things about that church such things as The Standards are lowering, the church is corrupt and The Church is allowing these figures to get away with all this behaviour. ...read more.

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