Omar Hernandez

Teresa Gibson

English 2332

July 2, 2003

Chaucer’s Depiction of the Clergy  

        In the poem, by Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales Prologue, Chaucer depicts the people of the church and describes them as people who are not the sole embodiment of people who have sworn themselves to God, and to live by the four vows that the church requires them to commit themselves to.

        Men and women of the church are expected to live in poverty and hold no worldly possessions. The Prioress spoke of owning little dogs, which is strictly prohibited in a convent, and treating them exceptionally well and being extremely attached to them.  By owing these dogs she violated the vow of poverty but the most apparent item that she owns is a gold broche that and leads the reader to believe that she was not entirely devoted to the church.

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        Chaucer spent a great deal of time explaining how she was extremely obsessed with her etiquette, that hints to the reader that she is more suited to be a beloved lady rather than a nun.  In the days of Chaucer, women used excellent etiquette to attract and keep lovers.  This indicates that the Prioress in not completely faithful to her vow of chastity, but rather a woman of promiscuity.

        The vow of obedience, in reference to the Prioress, is probably the most odd vow of the four, since he never mentions it.  While Chaucer is describing the Prioress he ...

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