CANTERBURY TALES--THE NUN'S PRIEST AND HIS TALE 

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

 

632. ALLEN, JUDSON BOYCE. "The Ironic Fruyt: Chantecleer as Figura." Studies in Philology 66 (1969):25-35.

Compares the description of Chauntecleer to exegetical commentaries and shows that "allegorical clues" in Nun's Priest's Tale "force themselves upon us." Yet, the relation between the effictio and the cock-as-preacher tradition is ironic: "mock epic, mock sermon, and mock allegory" comprise a gentle criticism of "taking exegetical method too seriously."

633. BESSERMAN, LAWRENCE L. "Chaucerian Wordplay: The Nun's Priest and his Womman Divyne." Chaucer Review 12 (1977):68-73.

Reveals the multiple meanings of the Nun's Priest's assertion that he "kan noon harm of womman divyne," exemplifying how Chaucer's rich semantic ambiguity functions.

634. BLAKE, N.F. "Reynard the Fox in England." In Aspects of Medieval Animal Epic. Edited by E. Rombauts and A. Welkenhuysen. Mediaevalia Lovaniensia, series 1, no. 3. Louvan: University Press; The Hague: Nijhoff, 1975, pp. 53-65.

Places Nun's Priest's Tale in the context of four other Middle English tales of the fox and argues that, like the others, its source was not a version of the French Roman de Renart, but rather a moral fable of the preaching tradition.

635. BLOOMFIELD, MORTON W. "The Wisdom of the Nun's Priest's Tale." In Chaucerian Problems and Perspectives: Essays Presented to Paul E. Beichner, C.S.C. Edited by Edward Vasta and Zacharias P. Thundy. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1979, pp. 70-82.

Formally a beast-epic of the wisdom literature tradition, the Nun's Priest's Tale mocks its epic conventions--dreams, pursuit, rhetoric, and language. Yet, this mockery of the too-serious ironically affirms the wisdom of proper perspective. Compares Chauecr's tale to Robert Henryson's Taill of Schir Chantecleir and the Foxe.

636. BOULGER, JAMES D. "Chaucer's Nun's Priest's Tale." In Literary Studies in Memory of Francis A. Drumm. Edited by John H. Dorenkamp. Worcester, Mass.: College of the Holy Cross; Wetteren, Belgium: Cultura Press, 1974, pp. 13-32.

Assesses the mediational value of humor in Nun's Priest's Tale, describing how it modifies both morality and skepticism, and characterizing the Priest as a gaudium spiritus who mediates between the Parson's morality and the Host's mirth. The tale encourages the faithful acceptence of a Providential world, "with all the moral folly, intellectual pretension, and human fallibility in it."

637. BROES, ARTHUR T. "Chaucer's Disgruntled Cleric: The Nun's Priest's Tale." PMLA 78 (1963):156-62.

Affirms the dramatic appropriateness of Nun's Priest's Tale to its teller by detailing how and where the tale "twits" the Prioress's fastidiousness, her domination of the Priest, and the mawkishness and grotesquery of her tale.

638. DEAN, NANCY. "Chaucerian Attitudes towards Joy with Particular Consideration of the Nun's Priest's Tale." Medium AEvum 44 (1975):1-13.

Examines the range of heavenly and earthly joys depicted in Canterbury Tales and evaluates their moral validity in Boethian terms and in comparison to contemporary thought. Suggests that Chaucer prefers the "serene intellectual joy" of the Nun's Priest to the Knight's and Monk's "strenuous view of living."

639. FRIEDMAN, JOHN BLOCK. "The Nun's Priest's Tale: The Preacher and the Mermaid's Song." Chaucer Review 7 (1973):250-66.

Examines the appropriateness of the Nun's Priest's Tale to its teller, assessing its similarities to exemplary sermons and arguing that the Priest's theme is anti-feminist. Form and theme are consistent with the Priest's occupation.

640. HOY, MICHAEL. "The Nun's Priest's Tale." In Chaucer's Major Tales. Edited by Michael Hoy and Michael Stevens. London: Norton Bailey, 1969, pp. 135-62.

Explores Chaucer's manipulation of oppositions and changing perspective which produce irony and constructive satire in Nun's Priest's Tale. The masterful shifts of style and rhetoric in the tale deftly contrast the rustic and the courtly, the learned and the lewd, the human and the animal, holding them in dynamic tension that requires interpretive participation from the audience.

641. KAUFFMAN, CORRINE E. "Dame Pertelote's Parlous Parle." Chaucer Review 4 (1970):41-48.

Uses medieval herbals to demonstrate that Pertolote's laxatives in Nun's Priest's Tale, supposed cures for Chantecleer, would have been extremely dangerous, possibly fatal. Pertelote's misinformation perhaps extends Chaucer's satire of women in the tale.

642. LUMIANSKY, R. M. "The Nun's Priest in the Canterbury Tales." PMLA 68 (1953):896-903.

Characterizes the Nun's Priest as an intellectual but timid man by assessing the dramatic interplay of the pilgrims. The Host's complaint about his wife and his altercation with the Monk provoke the Priest's antifeminist comments and his rebuttal of the Monk's Tale. The Host returns the favor by praising the Priest in language he earlier applied to the virile Monk.

643. MANN, JILL. "The Speculum Stultorum and the Nun's Priest's Tale." Chaucer Review 9 (1975):262-82.

Suggests that Nigel of Longchamps' Speculum Stultorum inspired Chaucer's ironic use of beast fable in Nun's Priest's Tale since both emphasize the disjuncture between animal and human nature and the difficulty of "applying moral analysis to animals." Chaucer's reference to the Speculum in his tale and the similarity of the two suggest that, through his tale, Chaucer lampoons the moralizing of comic fables.

644. MANNING, STEPHEN. "The Nun's Priest's Morality and the Medieval Attitude Towards Fables." JEGP: Journal of English and Germanic Philology 59 (1960):403-16.

Exemplifies a range of medieval attitudes towards fables and their moral value, and suggests that the Nun's Priest's exhortation to find a moral in his tale is ironic, a lampoon of those who felt that a poem "had to have some moral in order to justify its existence."

645. MYERS, D.E. "Focus and 'Moralite' in the Nun's Priest's Tale." Chaucer Review 7 (1973):210-20.

Assesses Nun's Priest's Tale from three widening perspectives: as a simple fable, the tale moralizes against flattery; as a rhetorical address to a court audience, it advises rulers; in the dramatic context of Canterbury Tales, it reflects back on the Priest who advises the Knight and the Monk but fails to see the tale's reflexive allegory about a "preacher-prelate"-- himself.

646. PRATT, ROBERT A. "Some Latin Sources of the Nonnes Preest on Dreams." Speculum 52 (1977):538-70.

Investigates Chaucer's debt to Robert Holcot's commentary on the Book of Wisdom for the dream materials of Nun's Priest's Tale. Influenced by exemplary tales from Cicero, Albertus Magnus, and Valerius Maximus, Chaucer transformed Holcot's commentary in the debate on dreams between Pertelote and Chauntecleer.

647. PRATT, ROBERT A.. "Three Old French Sources of Nonnes Preestes Tale." Speculum 47 (1972):422-44, 646-68.

Explores the relations among Nun's Priest's Tale and its analogues, demonstrating that Chaucer's tale was based upon Marie de France's Del cok e del gupil, enriched by Pierre de St. Cloud's Roman de Renart and the anonymous Renart le contrefait. Chaucer's tale parallels each analogue in ways significant enough for all of them to be considered sources.

648. SCHEPS, WALTER. "Chaucer's Anti-Fable: Reductio ad Absurdum in the Nun's Priest's Tale." Leeds Studies in English 4 (1971):1-10.

Examines Chaucer's manipulation of the generic features of Nun's Priest's Tale as a beast fable, and argues that the multiple moralizations of the tale, its sharp differentiation of human and bestial, and its illustrious depiction of Chauntecleer parody the genre. The tale is an "anti-fable."

649. SCHRADER, RICHARD J. "Chauntecleer, the Mermaid and Daun Burnel." Chaucer Review 4 (1970):284-90.

Argues that the references to the mermaid and to Burnel the ass in Nun's Priest's Tale indicate Chauntecleer's culpability in his encounters with the fox. The allusions suggest that his pride and his improper relations with Pertelote endanger him morally as well as physically.

650. SHALLERS, A. PAUL. "The Nun's Priest's Tale: An Ironic Exemplum." ELH 42 (1975):319-37.

Accounts for the rich ambiguity of Nun's Priest's Tale by tracing the influence upon it of both the idealistic tradition of cock-and-fox homiletic exempla and the naturalistic tradition of Roman de Renart. Chaucer balances the two, producing a "shifting focus," and simultaneously exploring humility and challenging our ability to practice the virtue successfully.

651. YATES, DONALD N. "Chauntecleer's Latin Ancestors." Chaucer Review 18 (1983):116-26.

Analyzes similarities of detail and style between Nun's Priest's Tale and Alcuin's De gallo, Ademar's fable Gallus et vulpes, and especially Isengrimus to show how elements of these "prototypes" recur in Chaucer's tale even though his immediate sources may lack them.

See also entries 22, 201, 215-16, 218, 249, 260, 272, 347. For style and rhetoric: 135, 137, 141, 152, 172, 226; sources and analogues: 252; relations to other tales: 282, 610, 617.

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