The Prioress

In Jeffrey Chaucer's poem, The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer tells people about the church and describes them as people who are not the only incarnation of people who have sworn to God and lived by four vows that the church requires to refrain from this. The abbess, the nun, is no exception, but Chaucer does not directly say how it represents the four vows, but this is what he does not say that people lead them to believe that the prioress is exactly the opposite. The nun is expected to take four vows.

It is expected that the men and women of the Church will live in poverty and not have worldly possessions. Precedent said that owns small dogs, which is strictly prohibited in the monastery, to treat them exceptionally well and be very attached to them. By ostracizing these dogs, she broke the vow of poverty, but the most obvious element she possesses is the golden brooch, which makes the reader believe that she was not fully dedicated to the church. Chaucer spent a lot of time explaining how obsessed she was with her etiquette, telling the reader that she was more likely to be loved by his wife than a nun. In Chaucer’s time, women used excellent etiquette to attract and retain lovers. This indicates that the present is not entirely true to its vow of chastity, but rather a woman of promiscuity.

The primary vow of obedience is probably the strangest vow of four since he never mentions it. While Chaucer describes Priority, he never mentions how she serves God or something like that. This makes the reader wonder if he is serving God well or not, but it is obvious that she did not fulfill the other vows and that this is not an exception. The nun must pray, learn, serve and live a limited life free from temptation, but the real one has already broken the first three vows and must obey in order to fulfill the vow of obedience successfully.

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The Prioress in the Essays