CANTERBURY TALES--THE SECOND NUN AND HER TALE 

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

 

652. BEICHNER, PAUL E. "Confrontation, Contempt of Court, and Chaucer's Cecilia." Chaucer Review 8 (1974):198-204.

Shows how Chaucer intensifies the trial scene of Second Nun's Tale, eliminating the repetition of his Latin source (the Mobritian analogue) and increasing Cecilia's contentiousness and Almachius's stupidity. The changes emphasize the trial rather than Cecilia's martyrdom.

653. CLOGAN, PAUL M. "The Figural Style and Meaning of the Second Nun's Prologue and Tale." Medievalia et Humanistica, n.s. 3 (1972):213-40.

Argues that the "chief function" of the Prologue to the Second Nun's Tale is to isolate the "figural meaning" of the legend of St. Cecilia. The idleness stanzas establish an eschatological paradox between action and passion, the invocation to Mary explores the mystery of virginity and fruitfulness, and the name-etymologies signal the major figural images of the tale, especially marriage and light.

654. EGGEBROTEN, ANNE. "Laughter in the Second Nun's Tale: A Redefinition of the Genre." Chaucer Review 18 (1984):55- 61.

Identifies the generic humor of Second Nun's Tale in its presentation of faithlessness. The tale encourages laughter at Valerian's shocked confrontation with Cecilia's virginity and Tiburce's stunned recognition of truth; it encourages ridicule of Almachius's stupidity. These responses depend upon the confidence of medieval faith, reflected elsewhere in the saint's life genre.

655. GRENNEN, JOSEPH E. "Saint Cecilia's 'Chemical Wedding': The Unity of Canterbury Tales, Fragment VIII." JEGP : Journal of English and Germanic Philology 65 (1966):466-81.

Demonstrates how the Second Nun's life of St. Cecilia anticipates the Canon's Yeoman's "wholesale condemnation of alchemy." The themes of busyness, good works, and wisdom appear in both tales, and a pattern of covert alchemical details in the Nun's tale precedes the Yeoman's overt concern.

656. LUECKE, JANEMARIE. "Three Faces of Cecilia: Chaucer's Second Nun's Tale." American Benedictine Review 33 (1982):335-48.

Proposes a connection between virginity and busyness in Second Nun's Tale, tracing the correlation to early Christian ideals of female sexual freedom, and arguing that in Chaucer's late-medieval context the story reflects the Nun's aggressive sense of her spiritual role and vocation.

657. PECK, RUSSELL A. "The Ideas of 'Entente' and Translation in Chaucer's Second Nun's Tale." Annuale Mediaevale 8 (1967):17-37.

Examines a thematic relation between poetic and spiritual translation in Second Nun's Prologue and Tale, arguing that this theme unifies them and is reflected in Canon's Yeoman's and Parson's tales. Also identifies in the Nun's Prologue and Book of the Duchess, a common concern with poetry as a cure for the malaise of their narrators.

658. REAMES, SHERRY L. "The Cecilia Legend as Chaucer Inherited It and Retold It: The Disappearance of an Augustinian Ideal." Speculum 55 (1980):38-57.

Compares Chaucer's Second Nun's Tale to the thirteenth-century story of Cecilia in Jacob of Voragine's Legenda Aurea and the sixth-century passio of the saint to show how the two later versions reflect "theological pessimism." Chaucer's version emphasizes divine power and reduces the efficacy of human choice and understanding in the operation of grace.

659. REAMES, SHERRY L. "The Sources of Chaucer's Second Nun's Tale." Modern Philology 76 (1978):111-35.

Assesses the complex relations among Chaucer's Second Nun's Tale and its analogues, arguing that Chaucer followed Jacob of Voragine's Legenda Aurea for the first half of his tale, establishing that Chaucer's second half is closer to the version by Antonio Bosio (c. 1600) than to other Latin or Middle English versions, and demonstrating that this second half is a freer translation by Chaucer than is normally assumed.

See also entries 88, 167, 252, 608, 665.

Table of Contents

Previous Section: Canterbury Tales--The Nun's Priest and his Tale

Next Section: Canterbury Tales--The Canon's Yeoman and his Tale