CANTERBURY TALES--THE PRIORESS AND HER TALE          

[Cross-references included at the bottom of the page]

 

601. BRENNAN, JOHN P. "Reflections on a Gloss to the Prioress's Tale from Jerome's Adversus Jovinianum." Studies in Philology 70 (1974):243-51.

Surveys the scholarship on glosses to Chaucer manuscripts and discusses a gloss to the Prioress's Tale to argue that Chaucer is "responsible for most of the substantive glosses" to manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales. The gloss from Jerome's Adversus Jovinianum suggests a two-stage composition process for the Prioress's Tale and a sense of ironic characterization likely to be Chaucer's rather than a scribe's.

602. COLLETTE, CAROLYN P. "Sense and Sensibility in the Prioress's Tale." Chaucer Review 15 (1981):138-50.

Assesses the sentiment of the Prioress's Tale in light of the fourteenth-century "fashion in religious taste" and shows how the Prioress's "myopic" emphasis on "love, emotion, and pity" is consonant with the fashionable concern for "deep emotional response."

603. FRANK, HARDY LONG. "Chaucer's Prioress and the Blessed Virgin." Chaucer Review 13 (1979):346-62.

Demonstrates the influence of the late-medieval Cult of the Virgin Mary on the portrait and tale of Chaucer's Prioress, citing parallels between contemporary Marian epitomes and Madame Eglantine, especially her name and oaths, the courtliness of her sketch, and the anti-Semitism of her tale.

604. FRANK, ROBERT WORTH, Jr. "Miracles of the Virgin, Medieval Anti-Semitism, and the Prioress's Tale." In The Wisdom of Poetry: Essays in Early English Literature in honor of Morton W. Bloomfield. Edited by Larry D. Benson and Siefried Wenzel. Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute Publications, 1982, pp. 177-88.

Documents the conventionality of anti-Semitism in medieval tales of the Virgin, tracing the roots of the convention in social, doctrinal, and literary history, and arguing that Chaucer selected his Prioress's Tale for its intensity of pathos, not to condemn its teller for anti-Semitism.

605. FRIEDMAN, ALBERT B. "The Prioress's Tale and Chaucer's Anti-Semitism." Chaucer Review 9 (1974):118-29.

Challenges the critical attempts to absolve Chaucer of anti-Semitism, since they lead to misunderstandings of the Prioress. Anti-semitism, an historical fact, is "incidental" to this tale which illustrates the Prioress's apt reverence for Mary and her "indulgence in pathos and sentimentality."

606. HOY, MICHAEL. "The Tales of the Prioress and the Clerk." In Chaucer's Major Tales. Edited by Michael Hoy and Michael Stevens. London: Norton Bailey, 1969, pp. 41- 59.

Contrasts the relative success of the Prioress's and Clerk's tales, arguing that the pattern of alternating realism and idealism in Prioress's Tale evokes pathos in the modern reader, while the flat style and emblematic characters of Clerk's Tale produces only melodrama.

607. KNOEPFLMACHER, U.C. "Irony Through Scriptural Allusion: A Note on Chaucer's Prioress." Chaucer Review 4 (1970):180-83.

Identifies two echoes of Matthew's gospel in Chaucer sketch of the Prioress--a detail of her table manners and her feeding of her dogs--and argues that the details are richly ambivalent rather than satiric.

608.MADELEVA, SISTER M. "Chaucer's Nuns." In Chaucer's Nuns and Other Essays. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1925, pp. 3-42. Reprinted in A Lost Language and Other Essays (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1951), pp. 31-60.

Documents Chaucer's familiarity with the life of nuns by assessing the portraits, prologues, and tales, of the Prioress and Second Nun in light of the liturgy and practice of convent life, noting parallels between the Rule of St. Benedict and the nuns' behavior, and identifying details that derive from their daily cycle of prayer.

609. POWER, EILEEN. "Madam Eglentyne: Chaucer's Prioress in Real Life." In Medieval People. [10th ed]. London: Methuen; New York: Barnes & Noble, 1963, pp. 73-95.

Reconstructs the life of a medieval nun, conflating Chaucer's portrait of the Prioress in General Prologue and the historical records of episcopal visits to convents.

610. RIDLEY, FLORENCE. The Prioress and the Critics. University of California English Studies, no. 30. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965, 51 pp.

Summarizes the critical assessments of Chaucer's Prioress. Examines contemporary attitudes towards Jews and compares Prioress's Tale to its analogues to deny that Chaucer satirizes anti-Semitism. The portrait, the tale and the opinions of the Host and the Nun's Priest show mild satire of "a kind-hearted, silly, somewhat misdirected woman" who is unaware of her own worldliness.

611. WOOD, CHAUNCEY. "Chaucer's Use of Signs in His Portrait of the Prioress." In Signs and Symbols in Chaucer's Poetry. Edited by John P. Hermann and John J. Burke, Jr. University: University of Alabama Press, 1981, pp. 81-101.

Examines the details of the Prioress's portrait to demonstrate Chaucer's unsympathetic depiction of a "nun who is not a nun." The details are either "calculatedly equivocal" or indications of the ambivalence of the Prioress's morality. Surveys previous criticism.

See also entries 94, 136, 154, 208, 241, 247, 252, 637, 905.

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